All F null

Wed 29 Sep 2010 11:08 AM

Too often among logical empiricists and their descendants, schematic laws of nature are given to be of the form 'All Fs are Gs' and schematic inductive inference is given as 'This F is G. Therefore, most Fs are Gs'.

A natural complaint about this approach is that actual candidate laws and actual inferences in science rarely if ever take those forms. Philosophical proposals about laws and induction are frustrating, because disputes surrounding them turn in some occult but inextricable ways on the toy representation.

They are cast like sentences and figures of inference in Aristotelean logic, and so bring with them a the whole scholastic sideshow. This is odd, because the the logical empiricists were acutely aware of the limitations of the old logic.