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all emeralds are grue

Recall the state-of-play: every emerald thus far observed has been both green and grue, so each observation has (ostensibly) supported two conflicting hypotheses, that all emeralds are green and that all emeralds are grue. If there was something wrong in the consideration of the set of grue things, then there would be something illegitimate about predicating grue of X. Why? Each time we observe a new emerald, it is found to be green. Barry Ward, Explanation and the New Riddle of Induction, The Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 62, Issue 247, April 2012, Pages 365–385, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2012.00044.x. The definition of “grue” is: x is grue iff it is first observed before t and is green, or else first observed after t and is blue [^2] (74). Goodman on the classical problem of induction. Some inductive hypotheses with positive instances will fail, even when we thought they were lawlike, but this is how we come to develop our system of scientific law. defined in terms of what color something is if observed before now. . Green predicates a naturally occurring property, where grue predicates an artificial and contrived property that does not reflect our natural ontology. arguments of the form: It seems clear that inductive arguments of this form are often good arguments. The definition of grue is exactly the same before and after t. Which part of the disjunction is effective in the application of the predicate is determined by t, but not the definition. The traditional view of induction works like this. Let’s return to our consideration of the grue and green emeralds. Suppose that we accept Goodman’s treatment of the classical problem of induction. generalizations, and the premises are instances of that generalization. But these worries can be dismissed; Goodmanized predicates are not illegitimate. Now consider the set of grue things, and peacocks and blueberries first observed after. A lawlike inductive hypothesis is confirmed by its positive instances [^5]; a coincidental inductive hypothesis is not confirmed by its positive instances. . Suppose t is 7/2/17. The solution appeals to intuitive constraints on the confirmation of explanatory hypotheses, and can be construed as a fragment of a theory of Inference to the Best Explanation. But it cannot be, since it does not give us good reason to believe that all emeralds Now let’s define a new predicate, “grue”. But if we can in fact perceive causal relations, then this will be how we come to differentiate between the lawlike and coincidental and thus come to have beliefs about the unobserved. some grass, the bushes in your mother’s yard, emeralds. the emeralds will persist in being green and cease to be observed as grue. ‘grue.’ If we could show that there was something wrong with it, then we could restrict the Here’s the thought. “Green” is a predicate that applies to every observed emerald. Please check your email address / username and password and try again. good first step in putting together a logic of induction: a generalization is confirmed by its Goodmanized predicates have some odd features that warrant closer inspection like (1) they are disjunctive definitions and include a time reference and (2) Goodmanized predicates are not natural terms for things actually in the world. Because intuitively we believe that after t, the emeralds will persist in being green and cease to be observed as grue. , one of the two hypotheses must fail, for their predictions contradict each other [^4]. However, when I see that every emerald I have observed has been grue, I am not inclined to form the belief that there is something about the emerald that causes it to be grue. Moreover, while grue is admittedly an artificial term, that does not mean that it is illegitimate to predicate it of natural objects. all As are Bs. to confirm the hypothesis that all emeralds are green. Intuitively, we think that the green hypothesis will be the lawlike one. We Search for other works by this author on: © The Editors of The Philosophical Quarterly. Naturally existing in the world are green things, even if there is no one in the world to observe it. () Every A thus far observed has been found to be B. It seems like this is a A first thought is that ‘grue’ is illegitimate because it makes reference to a specific time; it is still leaves us with a question: what are the valid canons of induction? Likewise, should some coincidences mistakenly be seen as causal, this is no reason to doubt our general ability to perceive causal relations. I do not believe that there is something that causes the emerald to be grue, other than when I happened to first observe it – which could have been any other time t.  Consequently, the causal relation I perceive is between green and the emerald, not grue and the emerald. The traditional view of induction works like this. You could not be signed in. If we form beliefs about unobserved events based solely on the flat-footed understanding of induction (marked []), then we couldn’t have the belief that emeralds observed after t are going to be green (but we do), because there is an equally well-supported competing hypothesis. For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. The problem Note that it is just as easy and legitimate to consider this set as it was to consider the green set. An emerald is naturally green – we just need to look and see. Presumably, the rules of induction are what enable us to project into the future – that is, to be able to make accurate predictions with regard to each subsequent, unobserved instance. Because looking at a green emerald, I believe that there is something that causes it to be green – there is a reason or an explanation of it. This is a perfectly fine definition, in the sense that it gives us clear conditions on when the word If we have a concept of causation, then we can believe two things to be connected causally and apply the concept to the situation. Because intuitively we believe that after. Subsequently, I will dismiss those concerns and argue that Goodmanized predicates are just as legitimate as normal predicates. It is a mistake to think that grue is poorly defined. An emerald is naturally green – we just need to look and see. only if it is either (1) grue and has been examined before now, or (2) bleen and has not been Goodman thinks that no If the green hypothesis or the grue hypothesis is lawlike, then that correlation is confirmed by its positive instances. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. same evidence -- observation of 1000 green emeralds -- provides good evidence for believing Now let’s define a new predicate, “grue”. Here’s the thought. (. but to differences between the properties of being grue and being green. practice. Consider, for example, the following argument: This argument seems, by the standard suggested above, to be a perfectly good inductive And what makes But every emerald has also been grue. The definition of grue is exactly the same before and after, . well-recognized principles of inductive inference.” (65). And that means they’ll be blue! instances. Naturally existing in the world are green things, even if there is no one in the world to observe it. One says that all emeralds are green and the other says that all emeralds are grue, where grue is said to apply to all things examined before t just in case they are green but to other things just in case they are blue (Goodman 10). So in order to have beliefs about the unobserved, it seems that we must have some way of determining whether a given correlation is lawlike or not – or at least there must be some way we come to believe that one hypothesis is lawlike rather than another. It is natural to respond to this puzzle by claiming that something must be wrong with the word Because grue includes a time-dependent disjunction, when I see the green/grue thing I only see the green because the time of first observation is not included in my perceptual experience of the emerald and so I wouldn’t abstract the concept of grue from it. ...This looks flagrantly circular ...But this circle Green seems to be a natural property. When we say X is grue, we say that X belongs to the set of grue things. A lawlike inductive hypothesis is confirmed by its positive instances [^5]; a coincidental inductive hypothesis is not confirmed by its positive instances. Of course, it, that after 7/2/17 each newly observed emerald will not be grue – certainly no emerald could be both grue and green (provided that it is observed after, ), for the definitions would conflict. We have no more reason to believe that they will be grue than that they will be green, when considering just the evidence from our experience on the traditional () view of induction. Because of this, we cannot legitimately predicate “grue” of emeralds. Consider the following. defective in this way. Without a concept of causation, I cannot experience a causal relation between A and B and will not come to believe or hypothesize that all As are Bs.

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