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Hempel's paradox

A paradox of induction (1). Suppose a researcher wishes to confirm the hypothesis that all ravens are black, using the logic of induction. The more black ravens that are observed, the more ...

Hempel’s paradox

Hempel’s paradox n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...different merely in wording. Logicians agree that there is no flaw in this reasoning; the difficulty is a purely psychological one arising from misguided intuition. Also called the confirmation paradox or the raven paradox . See also confirmation bias . Compare Goodman’s paradox . [Named after the German-born US philosopher Carl (Gustav) Hempel ( 1905–97 ) who first expounded it in 1937 in the Swedish journal Theoria...

Hempel’s paradox

Hempel’s paradox   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
219 words

...’s paradox The principle of induction by enumeration allows a suitable generalization to be confirmed by its instances. Thus observation of black ravens should confirm the generalization that all ravens are black. It is also clear that if evidence confirms a hypothesis, it should confirm any hypothesis logically equivalent to it. Now ‘all non-black things are non-ravens’ is logically equivalent to ‘all ravens are black’. Its instances are things like white shoes. So observation of a white shoe should confirm that all non-black things are non-ravens, and...

Hempel's paradox

Hempel's paradox  

A paradox of induction (1). Suppose a researcher wishes to confirm the hypothesis that all ravens are black, using the logic of induction. The more black ravens that are observed, the more probable ...
paradox of the ravens

paradox of the ravens  

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Overview Page
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Philosophy
A problem in confirmation theory to which attention was first drawn by Hempel. Prima facie, a generalization such as ‘All ravens are black’ is confirmed by—gains strength from—each new observed ...
Goodman's paradox

Goodman's paradox  

A paradox of induction (1). Suppose that someone notes that all emeralds that have ever been observed are green, and argues inductively to conclude that all emeralds are green. Now suppose we define ...
Nicod's criterion

Nicod's criterion  

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Subject:
Philosophy
A condition governing the confirmation of a general hypothesis by particular pieces of evidence, proposed by the French philosopher Jean Nicod (1893–1924) in his Foundations of Geometry and Induction ...
confirmation bias

confirmation bias  

The tendency to test one's beliefs or conjectures by seeking evidence that might confirm or verify them and to ignore evidence that might disconfirm or refute them. This bias, which helps to maintain ...
paradox

paradox  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
n. (in family therapy) a surprising interpretation or suggestion made in the course of therapy in order to demonstrate the relationship between a psychological symptom and a system of family ...
confirmation

confirmation  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The relation, in Carnap's kind of inductive logic, between evidence and hypothesis. Confirmation-judgements, according to Carnap, assess the probability of a specified hypothesis, on specified ...
contrapositive

contrapositive  

Of a conditional, P → Q. The statement ¬Q → ¬P where ¬ denotes negation. The contrapositive of a conditional is therefore equivalent to the original conditional. See also converse, inverse.¬Q → ¬P
induction

induction  

1 A form of reasoning, also called empirical induction, in which a general law or principle is inferred from particular instances that have been observed. Many people believe that this form of ...
confirmation paradox

confirmation paradox n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...paradox n. Another name for Hempel’s paradox...

raven paradox

raven paradox n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...paradox n . Another name for Hempel's paradox...

contrapositive

contrapositive   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
48 words

...The contrapositive of a conditional ‘if If p then q ’ is the conditional ‘If not- q then not- p ’. The two forms are equivalent. The contrapositive of a generalization ‘all All As are B’ is the equivalent ‘all All non-Bs are non-A’. This equivalence is exploited in Hempel’s paradox...

paradox

paradox n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... n . An apparently sound argument yielding either a contradiction or a prima facie absurdity. The US philosopher and logician Willard Van Orman Quine ( 1908–2000 ), in an article in the journal Scientific American in 1962 , introduced a threefold classification into veridical paradoxes , whose conclusions are true, such as Hempel's paradox ; falsidical paradoxes , whose conclusions are false, such as the unexpected hanging paradox or the sorites paradox; and antinomies , whose conclusions are mutually contradictory, such as Russell's ...

confirmation bias

confirmation bias n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...them and to ignore evidence that might disconfirm or refute them. This bias, which helps to maintain prejudices and stereotypes , is clearly manifested in problem-solvers’ behaviour in the Wason selection task and the 2-4-6 problem . See also falsifiability , Hempel’s paradox , logical positivism . Compare matching bias...

ravens, paradox of the

ravens, paradox of the   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
165 words

...paradox of the . A problem in confirmation theory to which attention was first drawn by Hempel . Prima facie, a generalization such as ‘All ravens are black’ is confirmed by—gains strength from—each new observed instance of a black raven. But this generalization is logically equivalent to ‘Anything which is not black is not a raven’. And this latter generalization is confirmed by each new instance of a non-black non-raven, such as white handkerchiefs and pale pine writing-desks. So, if we accept the seemingly innocent principle that whatever confirms a...

Hempel, Carl Gustav

Hempel, Carl Gustav (1905–97)   Reference library

The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
1,757 words

...theoretical concepts at all if the point of science is to help us navigate among empirical phenomena?); the paradoxes of confirmation (in which a proposition such as “all ravens are black” finds confirmation in any observation at all); and the logic of functional explanation in biology and social science (see, for example, 1945; 1958; 1959). While Hempel’s work on these topics generally promoted and sustained logical empiricism, his classic work on the criterion of cognitive significance (1950, 1951 , 1965) took stock of the increasingly difficult task of...

Goodman's paradox

Goodman's paradox n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...not Goodman) interpret this as a refutation of induction. Also called the grue paradox . Compare Hempel's paradox . [Named after the US philosopher Nelson Goodman ( 1906–98 ) who published it in an article in the Journal of Philosophy in 1946 and expanded it in 1955 in his book Fact, Fiction, and Forecast (pp....

Nicod’s criterion

Nicod’s criterion   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
107 words

...of a generalization that all As are B provides a positive, confirming piece of evidence for the generalization; evidence of something that is neither A nor B is irrelevant to it, as is evidence of something that is B but not A. The principle is put under pressure by Hempel ’s paradox, which apparently yields circumstances in which something that is neither A nor B may confirm the...

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