Pieces to Edit

Philosophy 203


Expositary Paper: True Induction

Sarah Myers

Sir Francis Bacon’s idea of true induction is a better scientific investigation method, than deduction. The scholastic method  (deduction) was what he was taught but in that way he saw ideas did not advance; that is, because  deduction arrives at a conclusion too quickly, focuses on conclusion, and accepts a premise with little evidence. Bacon’s idea of true induction is a better method because it comes to a conclusion gradually, with focus on  premise,  and with a greater amount of evidence to support the premise.

Coming to a conclusion to quickly is a bad idea. It means the premise are accepted at true while they might not be. For example:

Gradually coming to a conclusion allows us to define our approach. We can refine our notions. We can eliminate mistakes.  A premise may be false because we understand that the human mind has dangerous tendencies. Bacon first points out that understanding the mind makes mistakes means we focus on the premise before the conclusion.

We understand that the mind’s idols such as tribe, distortions of reality the human race share; cave, the perception & bias of individual man; market, deceptive of language; and theatre, accepting what always has known to be true without question, are the false notions that can invade a scientific investigation. In the method these ways are not weeded out. In true induction, they are.

The point of focusing on the premise instead of the inclusion it to find false premise. If we can find a false premise before we get to a conclusion then we will not believe false conclusions. In this way, Bacon says, ideas can advance.

In order for ideas to advance, we have to change the old scholastic way, conduct a new method. The scholastic way was individualistic. Premises were proven true with litter evidence. For example:

“No reptiles have fur.

All snakes are reptiles.

No snakes have fur.”

But what if there was a snake, somewhere out there, that did have fur. This is why with true induction, a lot of evidence is gatherered from many scientists. The method true induction is broader , and therefore creates a platform for concrete evidence, where the way of deduction was narrow and with little evidence, left a large room for error. Instead we gather many scientists, many minds, and instead holding a principle as firm truth we go about gathering evidence while considering that maybe, it could be false.

he idols of one man get in the way while the many men working together can discover, argue, and discard false notions.

True induction has a broader and therefore more gradual approach. A gradual approach allows ideas to develop and advance. Getting to a conclusion too fast allows people to understand a premise as true when it may actually be false. A gradual approach allows scientific investigators to rule out false notions. It allows them to throw away false idols. True induction is a better way to investigate science than deduction.




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