Prof. Stathis Psillos (Univ. Athens): Induction

Date / Time:
12.12.17   /  18:30 - 20:00

Institut für Theoretische Philosophie

24.53.01 Raum 81



The problem of induction has to do with the issue of justification of the inferences that lie at the basis of the transition from the past regularities to a generalisation (that is, to their extension to the future or to the hitherto unobserved). In this talk I will set this philosophical issue in historical perspective by examining what the problem of induction was before Hume. But wasn’t this Hume’s problem? By locating Hume’s views in the philosophical context of the seventeenth century, I will argue that what came to be known as Hume’s critique of ‘induction’ was not a critique of the justification of generalisations based on experience per se but of the further (and then received) view that experience can justifiably lead to general and (naturally) necessary truths.


Stathis Psillos is Professor of Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics at the University of Athens, Greece and a member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario (where he held the Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science between 2013 and 2015). He is the author or editor of eight books and of more than 140 papers and reviews in learned journals and edited collections, mainly on scientific realism, causation, explanation and the history of philosophy of science. He is member of the Academy of Europe and of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science. He is a former president of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA) and former editor of Metascience (2009-2014).


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