ABSTRACT. After decades of intense debate over the old pessimistic induction (Laudan, 1977; Putnam, 1978), it has now become clear that it has at least the following four problems. First, it overlooks the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories. Second, it commits the fallacy of biased statistics. Third, it erroneously groups together past theories from different fields of science. Four, it misses the fact that some theoretical components of past theories were preserved. I argue that these four problems entitle us to construct what I call the grand pessimistic induction that since the old pessimistic induction has infinitely many hidden problems, the new pessimistic induction (Stanford, 2006) also has infinitely many hidden problems.

Keywords: grand pessimistic induction; new pessimistic induction; old pessimistic induction

How to cite: Park, Seungbae (2018). “The Grand Pessimistic Induction,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 17: 7–19.

Received 7 July 2017 • Received in revised form 14 August 2017
Accepted 14 August 2017 • Available online 1 September 2017


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Division of General Studies,
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology,
Ulsan, Republic of Korea

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