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ABSTRACT. This paper focuses on induction, because the supposed weaknesses of that process are the main reason for favouring falsificationism, which plays an important part in scientific methodology generally; the paper is part of a wider study of economic methodology. The standard objections to, and paradoxes of, induction are reviewed, and this leads to the conclusion that the supposed ‘problem’ or ‘riddle’ of induction is a false one. It is an artefact of two assumptions: that the classic two-valued logic (CL) is appropriate for the contexts in which induction is relevant; and that it is the touchstone of rational thought. The status accorded to CL is the result of historical and cultural factors.

PETER SMITH
Institute for Development Policy and Management
University of Manchester
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