Epistemic Objectivity Behind Inductive Probability: Beyond Carnap-Popper Controversy on the Problem of Inductive Logic

  • Jean Claude Nsabimana Arrupe Jesuit University, 16 Link Road, P.O. Box MP 320, Harare, Zimbabwe
Keywords: Science, Induction, Probability, Demarcation, Deduction, Frequentism, Bayesianism.


Science neither aims at having the monopoly over the truth about the world nor establishing a dogmatic knowledge. Natural light of experience is held by empiricists to be the reliable source of human knowledge. Inductive logic has been a leading tool of empirical experiments in justifying and confirming scientific theories with evidence. Science cannot reach where it has reached without inductive logic. Inductive logic has, therefore, played an important role in making science what it is today. Inductive logic helps science to justify its theories not form convictional opinions of scientists but from factual propositions. However, inductive logic has been problematic in the sense that its logic of justification led philosophers of science to demarcation, the distinction of episteme from doxa. At present, some philosophers of science and scientists attempt to justify why science carries out a reliable knowledge. Some have argued for structuralism and realism of scientific theories rather than believing in the course of miracles and others for their historicity. Both views are explanatories of how science works and progresses. This essay recalls the arguments for structures of scientific theories and their historicity. First, the essay analyses the controversy between Rudolf Carnap and Karl Popper on how the problem of inductive logic in confirming scientific theories can be solved. In so doing, the essay refers to empirical probabilities as well as the limits calculus. Second, the essay merges frequentist and Bayesian approaches to determine how scientific theories are to be confirmed or refuted. Third, the use of a new form of Bayesian Theorem will show how mathematical and logical structures respond to some of the important questions that arise from the historical and realistic views about scientific theories.The essay argues for epistemic objectivity behind inductive probability, the key issue of the controversy in question, and proves that the truth about the world is symmetric.


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