Inductionism: What’s the Plan?

Where are we headed? Today I want to show a brief outline of the philosophic system I advocate, which I call Inductionism.

Where Next painting with a Victorian era couple looking at a map

My philosophy has three main normative principles:

1) Seek your own life by gaining knowledge.

2) Gain knowledge by inductive reason.

3) Base your faith on facts.

What is inductive reasoning? It is observation, identification, and generalization, following the rule of non-contradiction. Why do I make a big deal about it? It is the means of knowledge, and thus of life.

What does the inductive method look like in practice?  Here are ten guidelines for using induction:

1) Believe only ideas for which there is observed evidence.

2) Test your ideas by whether they are reducible to observed data.

3) Neither doubt nor believe a proposition for which there is no evidence.

4) Test whether your ideas integrate to your other ideas with no contradiction.

5) Base your concepts on similarities relevant to cognition.

6) Follow the conceptual hierarchy.

7) Do not multiply concepts beyond necessity.

8) Define concepts in terms of fundamentals.

9) Think in principles.

10 Avoid context-less chains of deduction.

 

These ideas are presented in more detail in the work of Leonard Peikoff. In a later post I will give more detail on how to understand and apply each guideline. If followed, these principles would lead to an intellectual revolution–in our individual lives, our families, our careers, our churches, our schools and colleges, our culture, and our society.