Choice and Chance. An Introduction to Inductive Logic. By Brian Skyrms. Dickenson Publishing Co., Inc.; Belmont, California. Pp. Viii, $ Choice & Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic. Ⓒ ISBN Edition 4 Pages. Published: by Cengage Learning US . Author/s. Siemens, David F. Review: Brian Skyrms, Choice and Chance. An Introduction to Inductive Logic. J. Symbolic Logic 41 (), no. 2,

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Choice and Chance by Brian Skyrms. This definitive survey of the hottest issues in inductive logic sets the stage for further classroom discussion.

Choice and Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic

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Chnce 30, Josie rated it really liked it. Jan 21, Brian Powell rated it liked it Shelves: The problem is with the validity of the inductive approach itself.

The go-to method for learning new things about the world is induction, whether these things be how to tie a shoe, build a rocket, or conduct chsnce inquiry. No, not unless we wish to commit logical suicide by running round and round in a vicious circle.

And we cannot use deduction either, because its conclusions never tell us anything not already implicitly contained in the premises i. Skyrms describes an inductive approach to validating induction that introduces a hierarchy of arguments, wherein the inductive inferences made on one level are justified by the one above it.

Skyrms spends some time discussing the other commonly attempted solutions: Inductive inference in the natural sciences is generally used to project knowledge of particular cases to knowledge universal.

Strong induction in these cases relies on the presumed uniformity of nature, across space and time, that supports skyrmz from known events here and now to unknown events there and then.

The degree of relevant uniformity dictates the strength of the induction: The problem of induction is how to identify the relevant uniformity in general. In short, one can perform linguistic shenanigans — words with situation- and time-dependent meanings, to deeply confuse and thwart attempts at establishing regularities. Of more immediate concern to the practicing scientist is how one discovers patterns and regularity in data for the purpose of establishing law-like relationships between quantities.


Skyrms has in mind discrete data points represented in 2D: Any way we please! And each cyoice curve will support a different prediction for the value of points lying outside the domain supported by the data a different extrapolation: This is unfortunate because I believe the situation is not so dire, despite the clear challenges so well-articulated by the author.

Choice and Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic by Brian Skyrms

Smyrms, experimental science augmented with a suitable helping of goodness-of-fit tests goes a far way towards clarifying some of these issues. At this point, Skyrms makes a rather abrupt break from his inquiry into induction and discusses Mills methods of identifying necessary and sufficient conditions of observed events; duly interesting but admittedly off topic Skyrms suggests skipping the rather lengthy Chapter 4 entirely on a first read.

In fact, the remainder of the book is seemingly off topic, covering probability theory without making any clear connections back to the deep problems we were left with at the end of Chapter 3. Because the latter chancd of the book seem to wither in isolation, I recommend the first three chapters only 75 pages or so as a basic introduction to the problem of induction; hence the 3-star review.

Jan 14, Izlinda rated it liked it Shelves: So I’m bad at logic, but for my Philosophy of Science course we had to read several sections from this logic book.

Makes sense, since induction is used in science. The exercises sometimes helped, but other times Skydms writing, though put in layman terms, was still confusing.

Looking ahead in the syllabus, it seems we’re done with this book for this semester, so I’m so glad I’m not required to take cchance full logic course. I would die otherwise.

Jun 25, Jayson Virissimo rated it it was amazing. This is probably the best entry point to inductive logic on the market. More consistent, concise, and at least as correct, but not quite as fun as, Ian Hacking’s introductory text.

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