TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Title Page-

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Certification-

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Approval Page-

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Acknowledgements-

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Dedication-

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Table of contents-

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Abstract-  -

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CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

1.1

Background of Study- -

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1.2

Statement of Problem-

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1.3

Purpose of Study-

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1.4

Scope of Study-

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1.5

Significance of Study-

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1.6

Methodology-

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1.7

Definition of terms-

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References-

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CHAPTER TWO:

LITERATURE REVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

References-

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CHAPTER:

 

THREE:  INDUCTIVISM IN J.S MILL

 

 

3.1

Life and Times of John Stuart Mill-

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3.2

Language and Logic-

 

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3.3

Induction: Mill’s Methods of Induction-

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3.4

Mill’s Empiricism-

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References-

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CHAPTER FOUR:

 

A CRITIQUE OF SCIENTIFIC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY IN THE PHILOSOPHY

 

 

 

 

OF J. S. MILL

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER FIVE:

 

EVALUATION AND CONCLUSION

 

 

References-

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Bibliography-

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ABSTRACT

 

Inductivism is the claim that induction is the basis of proper scientific inquiry. Induction holds that we can infer that what we know to be true in a particular case or cases will be true in all cases, which resemble the former in certain assignable respects. Sequel to this claim, John Stuart Mill, one of the major proponents of inductivism rejected every rationalistic or idealistic approach to scientific knowledge; instead, he suggested experience as the basis for any knowledge that is worthwhile. The history of philosophy has been characterized by arguments and counter arguments on what should constitute the nature of scientific methodology and this has led to absolutism in science that is, the belief that scientists must adhere to some stipulated methods. This work employs critical method, functional analysis and hermeneutical method to appraise the above stated claim by first of all establishing the roles played by the human reason and a priori ideas in the scientific enterprise. After this, we will also examine issues surrounding the methodology of science as raised by philosophers of science like Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend etc. consequently; we will conclude that science has more to do with pragmatism via relativism which can be certified by some landmark achievements in the history of science.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER ONE

 

 

1.1       Background of Study

 

The history of science has been characterized by some sort of absolutism and consistency ranging from inductivism to hypothetico-deductive methods. Induction is generally referred to as a “method of reasoning from a part to a whole, from particular to generals, or from

 

the individual to the universal”1. Many scholars consider this method of inference as the foundation of the scientific ingenuities and sequel to this; science is taken as an ideology. Therefore, any discipline that does not concur to this scientific method is always labeled a counter-ideology. In consonance with the above claim, any knowledge that does not have recourse to ordinary sense experience is considered meaningless.

 

In the light of the above, we shall start by beaming our search light on foundational absolutism in science: Inductivism with J.S. Mill who holds that the true test of logic is experience. He rejected the argument of the rationalists and the Aristotelians who argued that beyond our ordinary experience of things we have intuitions – “rational” intuitions – of ontological connections that structure things in ways not apparent to our ordinary sense experience of the world.

 

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Mill ipso facto formulated his five methods of scientific investigation; namely: method of difference, method of agreement, joint method of agreement and difference, method of residue, and method of concomitant variation. These methods shall be examined in Chapter Three.

 

If one should hold the above claim as posited by J.S. Mill to be true, how can we account for scientific laws and predictions? For example, it can be accepted that A is B (Chidi is honest) than to accept that A will always be B (Chidi will always be honest). One can not use that Chidi is honest today and infer that he will always be honest because an incident in future may counter this claim; thus, there lays the problem of induction.

 

Scientific laws and predictions are always transcending the world of experience. In the course of this work we shall examine Mill’s Inductive method in light of this thereby leading us to hypothetico-deductive method in science as postulated by William Whewell, Jevons etc. This work will also examine different postulations made by philosophers of science against the backdrop of inductivism and hypothetico-deductive methods in science on what should constitute the methodology of science and what facilitates progress in science.

 

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1.2       Statement of Problem

 

Approaches to empirical science in the positivist tradition made induction the working mechanism of science. The Sciences were adequately characterized by their reliance on something vaguely referred to as ‘inductive logic’ and sequel to this, the history of philosophy of science has been marked with series of arguments both anti and pro inductive on the basis of the progress, method, and limitation of science.

 

This work will critically examine inductivism as a sole method of science and series of debates on what underlies progress in science by resolving questions like: Going by the claims of inductivism, how do we prove scientific laws and predictions? Is it possible to establish a cause-effect relationship between events whose occurrence has been invariably associated in the past? What are the roles played by human a priori ideas in the scientific enterprise? Can a particular method hold sway in every field of study since the world which we want to explore is a largely unknown entity? Can inductive method be certified as the sole method of science? What principle (s) underlies growth in science? Does strict adherence to a particular method (Absolutism) facilitate or retard progress in science?

 

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1.3       Purpose of Study

 

This work is an attempt to critically appraise the methodology of science that is, what underlies the actualization of scientific ingenuities. This will be achieved by examining first, the strict inductive method of science [inductivism] and also many diverse arguments from philosophers of science on what characterizes scientific progress thereby establishing what brings about the progress in science.

 

 

1.4  Significance of Study

 

This work will serve as a clarion call on the proponents of absolutism (the belief that scientists must adhere to a particular method) to be all embracing. This call is necessitated by the inability of any method to stand alone in uncovering multi-faceted problems facing mankind.

 

The importance of the work can also be seen in its ability to help the inductive pioneers (Mill, Bacon etc) to avoid committing the fallacy of hasty generalization because concluding on one method in advance as the only way to the exploration of the indeterminate and unknown world is tantamount to committing the above stated fallacy. The above importance will be attained by concluding in the course of this

 

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work on the pragmatic nature of science since science has to do with problem solving.

 

1.5       Scope of Study

 

The scope of this work will be restricted to a critical analysis of the methodology of science with inductivism of John Stuart Mill as a case study. By implication, the work is within the ambience of philosophy of science.

 

1.6       Methodology

 

The aim of this work will be achieved by employing the critical method, functional analysis and the hermeneutical methods. Critical method will assist us to investigate the scholarly contributions on the methodology of science; functional analysis enables us to have a breakdown of inductivism and other methods as postulated by philosophers of science while hermeneutical method will help in interpreting the possible consequences of a strict inductivism or other forms of absolutism in science thereby suggesting a workable solution. This work is divided into five chapters; chapter one is the general introduction to the work, chapter two is literature review on the notion of inductive method of science in .J. S. MILL, chapter three will be exposition of J.S. Mill’s Inductivism as a scientific

 

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method, chapter four will critically appraise some selected scholarly contributions on the problem of methodology in science, and finally, chapter five will be evaluation and conclusion.

 

1.7       Definition of Terms:

 

Inductivism: “The view  that induction  is  the  basis of proper

 

scientific inquiry” 3 According to inductivism, scientific research proceeds from observations to theories. Scientists begin with experiments, finding out what happens in specific cases. They then use the results of these experiments to develop general theories about what happens in all cases.

 

Induction: This is the operation of the mind by which we infer that what we know to be true in a particular case or cases will be true in all cases, which resemble the former in certain assignable respects. The mere summing up of details in a single proposition is not induction, but colligation; induction always involves inference from the known to the unknown, from facts observed to facts unobserved. The Encyclopedia Americana defines induction as “inferring, or reasoning from particular instances of a generalization to the

 

generalization itself (or at any rate to some further instances).” 4

 

 

 

 

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Scientific method: “Term denoting the principles that guide scientific research and experimentation, and also the philosophic

 

bases of those principles.” 5 It is a means of acquiring knowledge scientifically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REFERENCES

 

1.           Jacob E. Safra (Ed. In chief), The New Encyclopedia Britannica, (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2003), p.301.

 

2.           Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, (New York: Versa, 1993), p.496.

 

3.           Thomas Mautner (ed.), Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, (London: Blackwell Publishers, 1996), P.274.

 

 

4.         Donald C. Williams, “The ground of Induction”, The New Encyclopedia Americana, (New York: Scholarstic Library publishing, Inc., 2004), p. 98.

5.         “Scientific method.” Microsoft 2009 (DVD). Redmund, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER TWO

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

 

Here, effort will be made in reviewing some scholarly contributions

 

on the meaning and nature of induction as a basic scientific method.

 

This will enable the reader to have a proper and general mastery of

 

inductivism, which will prepare the ground for an appraisal of J.S.

 

Mill’s version thereby unveiling its deficiencies.

 

 

 

Donald C. Williams in his article titled “The Ground of induction” is

 

of the view that:

 

Induction logic is inferring, or reasoning, from Particular instance of a generalization to the generalization itself (or at any rate to some further instances). For example, from the fact that one’s radishes in clay soil are sickly; one may induce the generalization that all radishes in clay do poorly. Induction accounts for nearly all that is meant by learning from experience.1

 

 

In line with Bacon and Mill, Williams holds that induction could and

 

ought to be demonstrative. According to him the best way to outline

 

the main forms of induction, is to examine the demonstrative

 

varieties before returning to the non-demonstrative.

 

Williams holds that demonstrative form of induction falls under two

 

heads: primary and derivative.  Primary demonstrative induction

 

 

 

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according  to him “is historically the first process to  be  called

 

“induction” [that] depends on no prior inductions.”2 It is of two varieties: intuitive and summative. Intuitive induction “grasps the universal (law) in the particular (instance)”, for example it recognizes by inspection of a single cube, or the mere idea of one (a priori), that all cubes must have 12 edges.

 

 

Summative induction, that is, induction by complete enumeration reaches a generalization by inspection of all its instances; for example, a survey of all the houses in this tract reveals that half of them are one-storied. Perfect induction is of limited scope but is far from trivial in a national census or an elaborate statistical analysis, and it provides the premises for ampliative induction.

 

 

Williams went further to stress that: “Derivative demonstrative induction establishes generalizations from a few instances by using additional premises [hyper-law], whose instances are classes or

 

laws”.3 The best known hyper premise is the causal law of uniformity; every kind of phenomenon is universally associated with some kind of circumstance upon which it always follows. Given in addition an instance of a phenomenon (a disease, say) with all its

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