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Nelson Goodman's New Riddle of Induction (Philosophy of Nelson Goodman: Selected Essays) 0th Edition

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0815326106
ISBN-10: 0815326106
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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophy of Nelson Goodman; Selected Essays (Book 2)
  • Library Binding: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815326106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815326106
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,210,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Library Binding
The "new riddle of induction" is the grue paradox. Something is grue if and only if it is green before T and blue after T, where T is some specified time in the future. Now, any inductive evidence for the hypothesis that "all emeralds are green" are likewise, it would seem, inductive evidence for the hypothesis "all emeralds are grue." This calls into question whether we can have any meaningful inductive knowledge at all.

Among the various replies to this riddle, I wish to comment on that by Barker & Achinstein (pp. 59-70). This reply is instructive in that it epitomises the knee-jerk reaction of mainstream analytic philosophers. As ever, the goal of these people is not to embrace fascinating questions about the nature of science, but rather to defend a naive logical-empiricist view of science at all costs. Mainstream analytic philosophy of science spends much of its time back-pedalling in support of the status quo in this manner.

To this end Barker & Achinstein set out to prove that grue is more artificial than green. That is to say, they wish to find something inherently unnatural about grue that we feel justifies our dismissing it as a viable predicate for projection. They do this by arguing that a "Mr Grue" would be unable to colour a painting without knowing what date it is supposed to represent.

Mr Grue means a person who perceives colours in grue terms, i.e., when he is looking at a green emerald he sees it as grue (as a matter of "raw perceptual data"—i.e., he is not seeing it as green and then interpreting it in terms of our definition of grue). If the emerald turned blue at T it would look to him as if it stayed the exact same colour. This is what he expects to happen; he projects his colours just as we project ours.
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