Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 49, 1994/95

Investigating Hintikka

Ilkka Niiniluoto
Pages 49-61

Hintikka and Whewell on Aristotelian Induction

According to the standard interpretation, Aristotle has two accounts of induction (epagoge): intuitive induction (which is not an inference) and complete induction (which is not a kind of non-demonstrative inference). Hintikka has challenged the usual interpretation of Aristotle's "official account" in Analytica Priora II, 23. In this paper, Hintikka's view is compared with a similar, but in some respects perhaps even more plausible, interpretation that William Whewell gave already in 1850. Both Hintikka and Whewell argue convincingly that Aristotelean induction is connected to concept formation. According to Whewell, the key to Aristotle's account is not the exhaustiveness or completeness of the sample of special cases, but rather its representativeness for the purpose of generalization.

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