Pure Inductive Logic

Prof. J. Paris FBA (Manchester University)

Friday 27th April, 2012 16:00-17:00 515


Inductive Logic, as conceived by its originators Rudolf Carnap and W.E. Johnson, was founded on the idea that the probabilities we assign in our everyday lives are logical in the sense that they are determined by our knowledge via rationality considerations. As a potentially applicable subject however Inductive Logic is nowadays generally considered within Philosophy to have failed, largely on account of Nelson Goodman's GRUE Paradox. Nevertheless as a `Pure' mathematical investigation into rationality, with its relevance to the ideals of AI, it survives and has recently seen some interesting developments. In particular the serious investigation into Polyadic Inductive Logic (Carnap et al only ever considered unary relations) has uncovered some new rational principles which appear to be remarkably powerful, even when reflected down to the unary level. In my talk I shall try to give a fairly informal introduction to one such principle.

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