Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

"Amanhontem": the self-collapsing Goodmanian predicate

The argument against Humean critique of induction based on the factual or empirical (and therefore inductive) character of expressions like "tomorrow" or other expressions of the future. To doubt that the sun will rise tomorrow is intelligible only if "tomorrow" is understood and therefore if some inductions are accepted in order do doubt others. Specific doubts concerning the future cannot be formulated. Today in my epistemology course I was exploring the analogy between Hume and Goodman and therefore between the new and the old riddle of induction. Goodman's predicates are always defined in terms of temporal predicates - "green if observed *before tomorrow* and blue otherwise". To simplify, we can formulate all these non-standard predicates - grue, emerose, nexists (something that exists if observed before a given time and doesn't afterwards) - in terms of "tomorrow". Now, we can concoct the predicate 'tomorterday': something that is tomorrow if observed up to a point and yesterday if observed afterwards. A day is tomorterday if it is tomorrow with respect to yesterday (and any day before that) but tomorrow with respect to today. Tomorterday follows any day before today but precedes today. The formulation of all Goodmanian non-standard predicates (including 'tomorterday') could also be formulated in terms of tomorterday so the very formulation of the riddle is prey of itself and therefore already has to be making use of an entrenchment.

No comments:

Post a Comment