Philo 203: Some Notes on True Induction

Whatever true induction is, its an alternative method to this late scholastic method. Take a guess.

Methods: A.)heavily relying on syllogisms B.) True/genuine inductions

Bacon aims at scientific theories that match up with the world.

*One of the tendencies of the mind is to have as few fundamental principles a possible.

How to explain it: Induction would be going around making sure every human is mortal. Be we can’t do that, can we. We make educated guesses, we do work on them. We can go on just fine behaving like that….

  • Axioms can be fine…
  • General principles can be fine…
  • We just have to be willing to change them.
  • Which means not treating general claims as absolutely fundamental.
  • True Induction can lead to revision of an axiom.

All our experience are of the particular.

All of our investigation is what the particular is.

Q: What does true induction meant?

A: Understand true induction is different from syllogism method & late scholastic tradition. Give weight to getting to conclusion to quickly and running with it (with in syllogism). Treating the syllogism as not subject to revision.


  • Are you always trying to prove axiom wrong? Yes. But you have to be reasonable. Yes you will push it, try to falsify it, but at a point you have to say- i think i’ve done enough. (relate that to gradual approach- another component to true induction that differs from old scholastic method.)

Aristotle (who was before Bacon) said when he got to a truth, that was the truth & nothing was more absolute. Bacon never hold anything that firm. Bacon says, Gold has designed our mind to be reliable, if we use it well, if we resist temptation.


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