Essay Analysis Of The Book ' Example And Hempel 's Raven Paradox '

945 Words May 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Matthew McGee
Epistemology
Final Paper

Q1 Goodman 's “grue” example and Hempel’s Raven Paradox are very similar. The Raven Paradox posits that for any given object x, when we assert that it is neither black, nor a raven, we are confirming the hypothesis that “all non-black things are non-ravens” (pg, 70). From this we can also make the logically equivalent statement that “all ravens are black.” This is an unexpected conclusion according to Goodman. Furthermore, our statement about the given object x logically entails that anything that is not black is not a raven, and anything that is not a raven is not black. A logical fallacy that would seem to follow from this statement is that "all black objects are ravens. Obviously we can reject the latter statement, having encountered sufficient instances of commonplace black objects that are not ravens.
Now Goodman asserts the predicate “grue”. For our purposes we can define grue as something applying to “all things examined” (pg, 74) that are green before a time t, and all things not yet examined in case they are blue. Goodman posits that we can now refer to all emeralds as grue in the same manner we once referred to them as green.
The induction is the problem or paradox he is getting at. Though we are incapable of examining every emerald available, just as we cannot experience every raven, we have sufficient evidence to make a generalization. This is one widely used practice of the scientific method. According to our…

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