David Armstrong (1983) argues that necessitation relations among universals are the best explanation of some of our observations. If we consequently accept them into our ontologies, then we can justify induction, because these necessitation relations also have implications for the unobserved. By embracing Armstrongian universals, we can vindicate some of our strongest epistemological intuitions and answer the Problem of Induction. However, Armstrong’s reasoning has recently been challenged on a variety of grounds. Critics argue against both Armstrong’s usage of inference to the best explanation and even whether, by Armstrong’s own standards, necessitation relations offer a potential explanation of this explanandum, let alone the best explanation. I defend Armstrong against these particular criticisms. Firstly, even though there are reasons to think that Armstrong’s justification fails as a self-contained defence of induction, it can usefully complement several other answers to Hume. Secondly, I argue that Armstrong’s reasoning is consistent with his own standards for explanation.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Nov 2020|