Philosophy Of Science 'Inductivism And The History Of Science – Coursework Example

Inductivism and the History of Science Justification of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) Although David Hume was right in his observation thatthe generalization involved in inductive reasoning is logically problematic, the use of induction reasoning in science can be logically justified as an inference to the best explanation. This is because explanatory considerations play an implicit role in inductive references. For this reason, therefore, induction method in science is ultimately dependent on inference to the best explanation (IBE).
Inductivism and History of Science
Naïve inductivism account of scientific discovery can be modified by a “Reflective Equilibrium approach” to serve as a rational account of scientific discovery. Reflective equilibrium approach to scientific discovery hold that, although scientific theories are based on theories drawn from factual observations, scientific theories, however, are disprovable in case of contrary facts or contrary factual observations. Unlike the naïve induvitism view that hold that all scientific theories and scientific discoveries are based on actual observations and, therefore, absolute truths, the reflective equilibrium approach to scientific theories and discoveries leave a possibility of disapproval of scientific theories, thus making inductive method in science more reasonable. A look at one episode of the development of scientific discoveries in the history of science will help to explain the reflective equilibrium approach to scientific discoveries in a better way. Let us look at the example of Newtonian physics and the relativist physics. The Newtonian Physics was based on inductive reasoning and it was held as a true theory of physics for a very long time. Later, however, the relative theory of physics disapproved some tenets of the Newtonian theory of physics; the relative theory of physics, therefore, is a modification and an adjustment to the Newtonian physics. This fact, shows, that naïve inductivism is an unrealistic account of scientific discovery, but it can be modified by reflective equilibrium approach to science.