Daniel Barnes

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  1. Incidentally, Popper follows Hume in this. And they are both quite right. If you mean "probability" in any more meaningful way than the entirely vague and hypothetical sense I mentioned above - that is, if you want to seriously justify one of your "empirical generalisations" claim to truth by an appeal to an actual probability - then perhaps you might want to specify that probability and show your workings. This is yet another example of the pretentious meanderings of a Popperian who thinks that only the technical use of terms should be taken seriously, and that scientific methods and models are paradigms that should be applied to everyday life. If I say that you will probably die if you shoot yourself in the head, my meaning is perfectly clear. I don't need to refer to a calculus of probability and come up with an exact number and then "show my workings"; such a thing would be impossible in any case. Clearly you didn't read this from my earlier post So your accusation is quite incorrect. I agree. You can use whatever method you like on whatever problem you like! There's not even a requirement to be rational. What you do is up to you. No Popperian policeman is going to force you to falsify. However, we are talking about logically valid methods. If your "cognitive shortcuts" or "empirical generalizations" or whatever you will call them next don't have any logical validity, then they are as helpless against Hume's problem as any universal theory. You can make pretentious, meandering statements about them being "rationally warranted", or "justified", or whatever - but that is all just hot air, as we both know what the real problem is. Further, if you are going to come out with language like this already cited above: ...claiming that, "in contrast" to Popper, there is some actual "degree" of predictive probability that your rationally-warranted-empirical-generalizations-based-on-inductive-reasoning will "yield", it is understandable that the reader might be given quite the wrong impression. Given that you obviously can "yield" nothing like a "degree" of probability yourself either - in practice there is no "contrast" at all, as both yours and Popper's claims would be zero - here's how you perhaps should have written your passage. GHs revised: "I claim that empirical generalizations based on inductive reasoning are rationally warranted, whilst accepting they are logically invalid, if only as matters of probability, even though this too was demonstrated to be invalid by Hume. Thus, when I use "probability", or "degree" I can really only mean it in the vaguest possible sense of the words, with no claim to any actual degree of probability. Much in common my own position, Popper claims that inductive reasoning cannot yield probability in any degree either, although, like myself, he will happily use phrases like "probably" or "in all probability" in a merely vague, colloquial sense that commits him to nothing."
  2. When you say this "was not Hume's argument", surely you can't be trying to claim it is unrelated - that Hume's problem somehow doesn't apply to universal theories, or even theories of any kind? Because universal theories make predictions about "instances of which we have no experience", or unobserved events, as well as observed ones. Are you really sure about that? Actually, skipping to the bottom, it seems you're not after all. So perhaps you might rephrase. But Popper points out that the logical problem of induction is actually behind the problem of causation. He explains that in Hume there is "no sensational basis for the idea of [causal] necessity...the nearest to it which is observable is regular succession. But if the regular succession of two events were 'necessary' then it would also have to take place with certainty, not only among observed instances but also among unobserved ones. This is, essentially, the way in which the logical problem of induction enters Hume's subjectivist discussion of causation, his bucket-theoretical search for the origin or the basis of the idea of necessity." (Popper, Objective Knowledge p88). So you claim. However, you talk rather a lot about "empirical generalizations" and "probabilities" and "hypothetico-deductive" models that are defended by inductivists such as yourself. But you have yet to supply any details of the aforegoing: say, how the truth content of these "empirical generalizations" is established, how the "probabilities" of these generalizations are calculated, and how a "hypothetico-deductive" model you would defend improves on the version offered by Popper. I think it's about time you put these on the table so we can clearly see why you consider them a superior solution. Also, are you still sticking by your "infinite regress" argument?
  3. Popper says somewhere in his OSE Chapter 11 that he's not a typical nominalist - only one of method. I've tried to avoid the term for those reasons, and tried to keep referring to "words-as-labels" as both Popper uses it and there is a precedent in Rand (though as I say I don't think it actually fits with the rest of her theory).
  4. No, she did not say "only a sadist"; she said "A sadist", period. I believe what she attributed to the sadist is entirely reconcilable with a Popperian position -- there is no rational basis for induction. Then surely only a masochist would engage in such a debate...;-)
  5. I've raised three so far, it's actually pretty hard to stop 'em. The contents of the sandpit become the contents of the diapers without fail...;-) Also, as a side issue, adult guardians of one sort or another also regularly teach children the meanings of words - a fact not much dwelt upon in the theory of concept formation, despite its common occurrence.
  6. Incidentally, Popper follows Hume in this. And they are both quite right. If you mean "probability" in any more meaningful way than the entirely vague and hypothetical sense I mentioned above - that is, if you want to seriously justify one of your "empirical generalisations" claim to truth by an appeal to an actual probability - then perhaps you might want to specify that probability and show your workings.
  7. This seems to be the nub of your disagreement. Once again, I will break it down to illustrate where I think it goes wrong, and hopefully I won't make too many trivial blunders in pursuit of it this time...;-) Right so far. This is where it might be going wrong. Popper's introduction of hypotheses is to help rescue the situation from Hume's dilemma. To illustrate I will quote Popper's restatement of Hume - for it is his reformulation of the problem that makes it potentially solvable. So there we have it in a nutshell. It is quite clear Popper is addressing the issue of how Hume's problem stands in the way of determining true explanatory universal theories. We also see how he introduces, in L2, the hypothetical turn in order to arrive at his solution of falsifiability. For there is only an issue if we try to claim such a theory based on the truth of individual test statements is true - not if it is possibly true or false. Thus it seems to me L2 has about the same claim to truth status as your "empirical generalizations", which might also turn out to be false. That is, none. Likewise, there is no problem for Popperians if they make similarly vague "empirical" or "reasonable generalizations" such as "It usually rains in winter" or "the bus stops here at 8 o'clock" or "I will probably get presents this Christmas" . This is simply loose, colloquial speech - no-one expects even an inductivist to produce, say, their probability workings for such comments - and in no way tries to pretend they are somehow "warranted", or are intended as a universal truth claim that droughts can never happen in winter nor the bus is never late. So your point below: ...is another clear miss, like your "infinite regress" argument before it. But perhaps I have misinterpreted your "legitimate" or "reasonable" or "empirical generalisation", and there is in fact some kind of specific principle behind it that is the equivalent of Popper's logical formulation above. If so, could you please outline how it operates re the truth content of these.
  8. I made a blunder, which has, as luck would have it, revealed we are rather at cross purposes. I explain over at the other thread.
  9. Can we do this on another thread, for the reasons I suggested upstream? Fine with me, but I would like the new thread to at least begin with the last two lengthy posts -- the first by you, the second by me. Michael will need to do this, and we should continue on this thread until he does. Ghs I've done a hopefully acceptable version here.
  10. Well, that's all very well, but Popper is talking about universal theories, and not vague generalisations. If you're not talking about induction in terms of providing universal theories or laws, but merely vague uncertainties that amount to something like "Some dirt might be edible, some not", rather than an absolute "NO dirt is fit to eat" then there's no real problem in the first place. Earlier you gave two links to show dirt that apparently is fit to eat, yet now you claim that "no dirt is fit to eat" cannot be falsified, an least not in any practical sense. So what were your counter-examples? -- impractical falsifications? LOL! I apologise, that was silly of me. My example does in fact falsify "no dirt is fit to eat" if we consider it to be a universal statement ie one that is just as true in the future as it was in the past. In fact it's easy to falsify considered like that. The child could easily have found the very first bite nutritious, falsifying it immediately. When I wrote that I was actually thinking of your comment here, italics my emphasis: In the italicised part you describe an ongoing search for falsification that is simply not necessary for a universal statement. I simply took your example too seriously, forgetting myself for a moment that a universal statement applies to the future as much as the past. So if we falsify it now, there's absolutely no need to keep testing it into the future. It's failed! In contrast, your vague generalisation, of course, might be true today but false tomorrow, or whatever, so you can keep eating dirt till the cows come home, or not, or whatever. Such generalizing commits you to very little, and you can always just make it even vaguer as you come across contrary examples. Anyway: Duh! Brain fart. So I stand corrected. But sadly, my blunder doesn't help your argument - there is still no need for any enumerative-inductive-like "infinite regress" with Popper, as he is dealing with universal statements or laws, so you are quite wrong I think. If all you are discussing is vague generalisations rather than universal laws then this has little to do with Popper, and we are clearly talking at cross purposes. As such, confusions such as my one above are bound to creep in.
  11. This is George's reply to the above: Just returning to this issue now I have a moment, as you seem to think this is a good argument against Popper's hypothetico-deductive theory. It isn't. In fact it is just another typical example of why enumerative-induction doesn't work. As my previous reply obviously wasn't very clear, I will go through it point by point to show exactly where and how it goes wrong. This may also help other interested readers who are not as familiar with Popper as you are. You start with a conjecture: You then propose a simple test: So far, so Popperian. But here's where it goes off the rails: Ah ha. But according to the problem of induction, we can never know for sure that the universal theory "no dirt is fit to eat" is true. In my discussion the statement "no dirt is fit to eat" did not function as a universal theory. It was a generalization based on particular experiences of attempting to eat dirt. Generalizations can have exceptions. Generalizations function as presumptions -- in some cases very strong presumptions -- that serve as cognitive shortcuts. They enable us to form reasonable -- not infallible -- expectations without having to repeat past experiences over and over again. This is an old tactic. After an inductivist states a generalization based on particular instances, the critic points to exceptions, or apparent exceptions, to falsify the generalization. But a generalization is not the same thing as a theory, and inductive generalizations, which can be accepted with varying degrees of probability, often remain accurate despite a few exceptions. Popper often uses this tactic. For example, he takes Hume's example that "bread nourishes" and claims that this generalization "was tragically refuted when bread baked in the usual way practically wiped out a French village, due to an outbreak of ergotism." (Objective Knowledge, p. 97) This shows a failure to understand the nature of generalizations, in contrast to "theories" or "hypotheses." To generalize that "bread nourishes" does not mean that we never regard bread and other foods as unfit to eat in some circumstances. We wouldn't normally eat spoiled food, for example, or raw pork. Popper's obsession with viewing every inductive generalization as a universal theory of some kind led him into a number of unnecessary problems. Another common tactic used by Popper is illustrated in the following passage: So the rules of induction can yield "quite good approximations to the truth"? I will settle for this, as would most other inductivists, especially since Popper himself sometimes says that approximations of truth are the most we can ever hope to attain. Popper's discussion here is very confusing, and things get even more confusing when Popper goes on to say: Note that Popper refers to "induction by repetition." This is often called induction by mere enumeration, and this is precisely the sort of thing that Harriman, along with virtually every other inductivist, rejects. If Popper believes that induction consists of adding up particular cases and then, with no additional reasoning (whether implicit or explicit), forming a generalization, then he is attacking a type of "induction" that no one has ever defended. Let's return to Popper's example of the sun rising tomorrow. Does any reasonably intelligent person who makes this inductive generalization really not understand that certain cosmic events could occur that would prevent the sun from rising tomorrow? No, of course not. When people say this, they are not proposing a "theory," much less a scientific theory; rather, they are expressing a reasonable expectation based on a generalization from past experiences. There are a number of other things I would need to discuss to show how confused Popper's approach is, but I will confine myself to a few brief remarks. 1) According to Popper (OK, p. 34), "all science, and all philosophy, are enlightened common sense." This is wrong. Although philosophy typically relies on "common sense," science, especially physics, does not. This is why the specific methods of verification used in science differ dramatically from the methods used in philosophy. Popper's confusion in this matter leads him in a futile quest to explain how a formal method of verification used in science -- Daniel calls it the hypothetical-deductive model, but this can be misleading when applied to Popper -- applies to philosophy and even everyday life as well. This is a serious error. 2) Popper's remarks about "objective knowledge" sometimes conflict. At times he suggests that objective knowledge is possible, whereas at other times he says that objective knowledge is merely an ideal that can only be approximated to one degree or another. The problem here is that Popper often equates "knowledge" with absolute certainty, or even infallible certainty. Thus if we don't know something for certain, we don't have any knowledge at all. This is one reason he can say that we often form reasonable beliefs based on induction (only he doesn't want to call this "induction," even though everyone else under the sun has) and still not have "knowledge." (3) To add to the confusion, Popper has some excellent discussions where he criticizes the old notion, which goes back to the ancient Greeks, that knowledge must be "certain" before it can qualify as knowledge. Indeed, he makes a number of comments that could easily be translated into the language of Rand's contextualism. (These are among my favorite discussions by Popper.) (4) The upshot of all this is that the problem of induction -- which Popper claims to have solved, "though negatively" (OK, p. 94) -- is inextricably tied to his theory of objective knowledge, and the confusion exhibited in the latter seeps into his discussion of the former. (Daniel: Please don't tell me that Popper distinguishes between the questions "How can we justify induction?" and "Is induction at all justifiable?" I know this, but I have to cut some corners to keep this post to a reasonable length. This distinction is not relevant to the points I am making here.) (5) At various times, when Popper comes very close to defending the traditional theory of induction, merely restating it in a different form, he sometimes calls attention to the similarity, only to seek refuge in his favorite excuse, viz., that he doesn't want to quibble over the meaning of words. At some point he even says, in effect, Well, if you want to call my approach "induction," then call it induction. Okay, I call it not only induction in some instances but also the traditional theory of induction. As noted previously, Popper focuses on induction by mere enumeration, and no inductivist that I can recall ever defended this approach. Now back to Daniel's post: Earlier you gave two links to show dirt that apparently is fit to eat, yet now you claim that "no dirt is fit to eat" cannot be falsified, an least not in any practical sense. So what were your counter-examples? -- impractical falsifications? I will need to continue this later. Ghs
  12. Moved from another thread: Just returning to this issue now I have a moment, as you seem to think this is a good argument against Popper's hypothetico-deductive theory. It isn't. In fact it is just another typical example of why enumerative-induction doesn't work. As my previous reply obviously wasn't very clear, I will go through it point by point to show exactly where and how it goes wrong. This may also help other interested readers who are not as familiar with Popper as you are, so I will write it accordingly. You start with a conjecture: You then propose a simple test: So far, so Popperian. But here's where it goes off the rails: Ah ha. But according to the problem of induction, we can never know for sure that the universal theory "no dirt is fit to eat" is true. And just as well, because it turns out that it's false anyway - see here, and here. Further, part of the problem is the way your hypothesis has been framed. As it stands - "no dirt is fit to eat" is in any practical sense unfalsifiable - you'd effectively be trying to prove a negative, as you'd indeed have to sample all dirt that ever existed or will exist in order make such a proof. This is irrelevant, as Critical Rationalism never tries to prove anything - only to falsify. So it turns out your example is just standard fallacious proof-by-enumerative-induction coming in via the back door. Now, an important part of Popper's recommendation is to avoid these sorts of problems in the first place by trying to frame hypotheses so they are more easily falsifiable; that is, by making them testable. So you could just as easily make your hypothesis "all dirt is food", for this could just as well be the infant's vague, unspoken hunch when she puts the dirt in her mouth rather than "no dirt is food." This hypothesis now becomes testable, and can be falsified by modus tollens as only a single counterexample - one taste - is necessary from a logical point of view ( though if you want to try more, that's up to you...). More about that below. You then wonder: As I mention above, the answer is in Popper's well-known adoption of the logical form modus tollens, which he built his notion of falsifiability around. Using the modus tollens, we only need one counter example - a single black swan - to falsify the universal claim that "all swans are white". Likewise "all dirt is food". Thus the scenario of tasting dirt forever is not entailed by, nor has anything to do with, the Popperian approach. We can now replace our falsified hypothesis "all dirt is food" with a new one - for example, "some dirt is not food" - and act with the appropriate caution, or with an appropriate sense of exploration and adventure :-) in future. And all this is achieved without any recourse whatsoever to any enumerative-induction approach. So the rest of your post is naturally incorrect. Hopefully that clears that up. No, I hold them lightly as ever. No, but they have withstood many tougher tests than yours above, so so far so good :-). Yes, many times; by debating them in places like this that are not likely to easily accept them, for just one example. PS: I have tried to make this explanation as clear as possible. If you still profoundly disagree with it and want to debate it at length, I propose starting another thread so Robert's thread doesn't get hijacked.
  13. Can we do this on another thread, for the reasons I suggested upstream?
  14. Further to this post to Ellen, I submit the following example: In short, Rand is asserting that only a sadist would consider that there is "no necessary connection between names and things", and that names are just "conventions"! This seems to me to be completely irreconcilable with a Popperian position, and entirely compatible with the position Popper criticises, and which I hold is the underlying tendency in Rand's thought. The term "necessary connection" seems decisive - it can hardly be applied to a mere label, and instead suggests there is at the very least some kind of irresistible epistemological connection between a word and a thing - and I would go further, and say between a word and a concept too. (There is also the reasonably common confusion, to which she regularly succumbs, between "arbitrary" and "artificial". Just because conventions are artificial does not mean they are arbitrary. This or that name may be chosen may be chosen for a number of different reasons.)
  15. Just returning to this issue now I have a moment, as you seem to think this is a good argument against Popper's hypothetico-deductive theory. It isn't. In fact it is just another typical example of why enumerative-induction doesn't work. As my previous reply obviously wasn't very clear, I will go through it point by point to show exactly where and how it goes wrong. This may also help other interested readers who are not as familiar with Popper as you are, so I will write it accordingly. You start with a conjecture: You then propose a simple test: So far, so Popperian. But here's where it goes off the rails: Ah ha. But according to the problem of induction, we can never know for sure that the universal theory "no dirt is fit to eat" is true. And just as well, because it turns out that it's false anyway - see here, and here. Further, part of the problem is the way your hypothesis has been framed. As it stands - "no dirt is fit to eat" is in any practical sense unfalsifiable - you'd effectively be trying to prove a negative, as you'd indeed have to sample all dirt that ever existed or will exist in order make such a proof. This is irrelevant, as Critical Rationalism never tries to prove anything - only to falsify. So it turns out your example is just standard fallacious proof-by-enumerative-induction coming in via the back door. Now, an important part of Popper's recommendation is to avoid these sorts of problems in the first place by trying to frame hypotheses so they are more easily falsifiable; that is, by making them testable. So you could just as easily make your hypothesis "all dirt is food", for this could just as well be the infant's vague, unspoken hunch when she puts the dirt in her mouth rather than "no dirt is food." This hypothesis now becomes testable, and can be falsified by modus tollens as only a single counterexample - one taste - is necessary from a logical point of view ( though if you want to try more, that's up to you...). More about that below. You then wonder: As I mention above, the answer is in Popper's well-known adoption of the logical form modus tollens, which he built his notion of falsifiability around. Using the modus tollens, we only need one counter example - a single black swan - to falsify the universal claim that "all swans are white". Likewise "all dirt is food". Thus the scenario of tasting dirt forever is not entailed by, nor has anything to do with, the Popperian approach. We can now replace our falsified hypothesis "all dirt is food" with a new one - for example, "some dirt is not food" - and act with the appropriate caution, or with an appropriate sense of exploration and adventure :-) in future. And all this is achieved without any recourse whatsoever to any enumerative-induction approach. So the rest of your post is naturally incorrect. Hopefully that clears that up. No, I hold them lightly as ever. No, but they have withstood many tougher tests than yours above, so so far so good :-). Yes, many times; by debating them in places like this that are not likely to easily accept them, for just one example. PS: I have tried to make this explanation as clear as possible. If you still profoundly disagree with it and want to debate it at length, I propose starting another thread so Robert's thread doesn't get hijacked.
  16. But this is not entailed in the least by the hypothetico-deductive method, and is in fact strongly criticised by it. People can and do cling to their beliefs, even in spite of contrary evidence. In fact the more people believe their beliefs to be justified by some means, the more they cling to them. A hypothesis, on the other hand, such as "Dirt is delicious and nourishing", might be given up at any time - even after a single trial. It's only a hypothesis - it's not a justified true belief. There is no requirement to eat dirt over and over in order to keep testing it, though you are welcome to if you so wish. Plenty of people do the equivalent with their dearly held convictions. That's a personal choice, not a methodological requirement...;-)
  17. Had I but known you would have had my sword, dull as it is, by your side in a moment. Of course Popper's "conjectures and refutations" is the right approach to physics. What puzzles me then, is why this seems to be a point of difference between you and Ellen. Because that's definitely her position on science in general, including physics. But I'm not sure what thread you're referring to. Well in this you might agree more with Ellen, and less with me. The important thing I think is however that we have now established some firm areas of agreement, even if what I call the "hypothetico-deductive" method you call the "inductive" method. Who would quarrel over mere terminology? And further, physics has been one of the most astonishingly successful fields of human endeavour, it is not exactly shameful to have Popper's methodology associated with it. This is certainly true of most great thinkers, and could well turn out to be true of Popper. Anyway, I am about to get on to a plane, but this is certainly far more fruitful than endless bickering. Edit: Mind you at this rate we are going to need a bigger bus...
  18. I feel weird saying this, but in some ways I give Popper more credit than you seem to do. It is a gross oversimplification to say that Popper's objections to induction were the same as Hume's... The problem is that this was not Hume's argument. Hume contended that inductive reasoning involves circular reasoning, not an infinite regress. As he wrote in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding , when we argue from past experience to what will occur in the future, we do so on the supposition that "the future will resemble the past," and this "must be evidently going in a circle, and taking that for granted, which is the very point in question." (Selby-Bigge, 3rd ed., pp. 35-36.) The difference here is substantial, because if it can be show that belief in the uniformity of nature can be justified independently of any particular inductive inference (as I believe it can), then Hume's argument lacks force. Not so if inductive reasoning involves an infinite regress, as Popper contends. More needs to be said about this topic, obviously, but I want to do my best to avoid writing long and complex posts. In my experience people tend not to read such posts, or at least not read them very carefully. Why should I complain if you give Popper even more credit than I do? Well, let's commit Hume to the flames then for his damnable confusion of circularity and regress, and replace him with Popper's more forceful formulation. Even better, I'd be happy to accept that Popper screwed up by attributing this argument to Hume in the first place, when in fact he'd come up with a better one. This is going exceedingly well.
  19. Your recall is poor. This page indicates the importance of eliminative methods that go beyond simple enumeration. It may well be - and who are we Popperians to complain about an eliminative instead of enumerative method! But who cares now, because Merry Christmas: !
  20. This just in: War is over, if you want it....;-)
  21. Well I agree, but then you wrote it. Actually, in terms of say a biological process like eating, Popper argues that our bodies are programmed with expectations; a baby does not need to first receive hypothetico-deductive instruction before looking for their mother's breast. But Popper argues these in-built expectations have no more rational weight than any other expectation - the mother's breast may turn out to actually be the solidified sap of a tree, suitably shaped. The baby's in-built expectations may be mistaken - they are therefore a form of hypothesis, or guess. I am not one to argue over terms as you know, let alone mere "torturous restatements" of them. I leave that to professionals..;-) So you can indeed call the process whereby we first put forward imaginative hypotheses, then attempt to falsify them by observation and argument rather than verify them through enumeration, "induction" if you like. In that case, I will happily accept that I, just like yourself, am a rock-ribbed, true-believing inductivist. Kumbaya, baby! An excellent result, as I'm sure Ellen will agree. And even better, poor Robert's thread won't get derailed either...
  22. Who has ever claimed that we can arrive at universal laws solely through observing and adding up particular instances? Name one philosopher. I don't think anyone ever claimed that one arrives there alone. Deductive logic has always been part of the picture to a greater or lesser extent. The problem is observation's compatibility with deduction - how does it fit together? If observation is the way we establish the truth of our premises, by what means is that truth justified? It wasn't always clear just how fallacious the idea of enumerative observations establishing ever increasing certainty - moving from the observation that you have seen X white swans to "All swans are white" - really was. (As I recall JS Mill offered a variety of different types of induction, but ultimately admitted they all boiled down to the enumerative method). Popper primarily clarified how observations, such as scientific experiments, might be made to be more compatible - by falsifying, rather than attempting verification by sheer weight of numbers. (That's why his book is called "The Logic of Scientific Discovery", emphasis mine). A short overview of this complex tale can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_scientific_method
  23. Yes, this is what Popperians say, and not even just especially dense ones...;-) Can you point out what is illogical about it? I'm happy to point out what is illogical about the claim that, say, because I've eaten breakfast x times in the past, I will always eat breakfast in the future, because that is indeed what an inductive belief amounts to. Are you trying to claim, based on your prior observations, that people eating breakfast is some kind of universal law? It hardly can be: I skipped it just the other day.Or perhaps you are trying to argue that because you've observed people eating when they are hungry, that it follows that there is a universal law that people always eat when they are hungry? Well this would be obviously false too: see here, here, and here. Or are you arguing that the probability of my eating breakfast tomorrow, or not developing anorexia, is somehow higher due to the number of times I've eaten breakfast or food in general in the past? If so, please show us your workings ie because I have eaten breakfast x times in the past, the probability is x that I will eat breakfast tomorrow. If not, what exactly are you trying to claim?
  24. It didn't escape me at all, but I guess the humour in my reply escaped you. Never mind. I've just given a thumbnail overview of the problem a few posts up. As you've already outlined Popper's position to Ellen a few posts up it's obvious you're familiar with it, so I'm not sure exactly what you want me to explain? I did note this remark of yours to Ellen: Popper's objections to induction are the same as Hume's. He says he merely took Hume's objection more seriously than Hume did (although he disagrees with Hume's theory of knowledge). It seems pretty reasonable to consider Hume's objections "run of the mill" by now.
  25. That did not answer my question. Please tell us why your eating isn't completely irrational. Why do you believe that eating will get rid of the hunger? Because it is an extremely well tested theory!...;-)