Monday, October 5, 2009

Aristotle's View of Induction: A Summary

[On Induction]: “The soul is so constituted to be capable of this process.” [Aristotle, Posterior Analytics 2.19, 100a14]
In the history of induction, Aristotle features prominently as the first person to explain what it was. While Socrates practiced induction and sought universal definitions, Aristotle was the first to discuss the process of inductive thinking itself. And even though Aristotle thought that “[what] sort of thing induction is, is obvious,” he nevertheless took some effort in explaining its origin, its logical process, and the benefits that could be gained from using it (Topics 8.1, 157a8).