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Popper and computer induction Donald A. Gillies

Summary: Popper and computer induction
Donald A. Gillies
In a recent article in BioEssays, John F. Allen uses Popper's
philosophy of science to argue on p. 107 that ``There is no
induction machine'', and that looking for one will result in
``waste of resources spent on the search itself.'' This argument
is of great interest to me because I started my research life as
a graduate student in philosophy of science in Popper's
department at the London School of Economics in the years
196668. Popper had just published his book Conjectures and
Refutations, 1963 in which he says on p. 53: ``Induction, i.e.
inference based on many observations, is a myth. It is neither
a psychological fact, nor a fact of ordinary life, nor one of
scientific procedure.'' Indeed I remember Popper making the
statement: ``induction is a myth'' in one of his lectures in 1967,
to which he added: ``and those who claim that there is induction
do not know what they are talking about.'' I need hardly add
that I was completely convinced by Popper's very forceful
arguments for this thesis which I believed for many years.


Source: Allen, John F. - School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London


Collections: Renewable Energy; Biology and Medicine