Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2022
Historical inductions, that is, the pessimistic metainduction and the problem of unconceived alternatives, are critically analyzed via John D. Norton’s material theory of induction and subsequently rejected as noncogent arguments. It is suggested that the material theory is amenable to a local version of the pessimistic metainduction, for example, in the context of some medical studies.
I am indebted to John Norton and Moti Mizrahi for extremely valuable comments on earlier drafts of this article. Thanks also to helpful conversations with audience mbers at the Auburn University Philosophical Society (spring 2018), the 2018 “Norton for Everyone?” conference in Pittsburgh, and the PSA 2018 conference in Seattle. I am also grateful to participants in Gila Sher’s Truth and Scientific Change reading group at the Edelstein Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (fall 2017).