Hume’s Problem of Induction

Enjoy the introduction to my second ever philosophical response paper.

If there’s one thing humans tend to place their faith in, it’s the fact that life, as we know it, will go on. What I mean by this doesn’t relate to Darwin’s theories on evolution or even Buddhist sentiments on reincarnation, but rather the consistency we all assume will remain between today and tomorrow. We’ve all silently agreed to accept the more basic aspects of the world with little to no regard for how things may be altered. Gravity, Newtonian mechanics, death, taxes: These are all things that will more or less remain constant and present in our lives. By assuming all of this, though, we’re all encountering a philosophical problem known as the problem of induction. Put plainly, induction is the process of using observations to conclude something about future events. Many struggle to see the problem with this train of reasoning, but philosophers have considered the implications of inductive reasoning for centuries. Perhaps the most famous of these philosophers, Hume, argues that induction is more of a problem than we know. Hume’s ideas on induction demonstrate that we may never be fully certain of the future.

If you’d like to read the full paper, click here: