Assignment 1: Essay
Length: 2000 word essay
Questions for Assignment 1
Write an essay addressing ONE of the five following questions:
Q1 Critically examine the central ideas of inductivism.
Q2 Describe and evaluate Francis Bacon’s views on induction.
Q3 Read the dialogue of Alice and Thomas in Ch.1 ‘Induction and Inductivism’ (pp.11-14 and p.30) of James Ladyman’s book Understanding philosophy of science (the chapter is available from the eReserve collection for PHIL304/504). Describe and evaluate Alice’ and Thomas’ respective positions regarding the reliability of beliefs based on the scientific method.
Q4 Review Avshalom M. Adam’s paper, ‘Farewell to Certitude: Einstein’s Novelty on Induction and Deduction, Fallibilism’ (2000). (The paper is available from Dixson Library. To download the paper, go to Dixson’s opening page, find ‘Quick search articles’, click ‘By articles’, enter the paper’s name in the Search box, click ‘Submit’, click ‘Full Text Online’, click ‘Download PDF (74 kb)’.)
Q5 List the main points of Albert Einstein’s view on the inductive method as expressed in his paper ‘Induction and deduction in physics’ (1919). (A complete English translation of Einstein’s paper can be found in Avshalom M. Adam’s paper, ‘Farewell to Certitude: Einstein’s Novelty on Induction and Deduction, Fallibilism’ (pp.34-35). Adam’s paper is available from Dixson Library – see Question 4 above.) Select some items from the list and comment on them.