A Counterfactual Alternative to the ‘Grue’ Paradox


In the analysis of the philosopher Frank Jackson on the Nelson Goodman’s new ‘riddle’ of induction, a criticism is raised in relation to the very definition that Goodman offers for the predicate that gives rise to it: the predicate grue. As the latter applies to things observed up to a point and green, or to things unobserved and blue, Jackson argues that this definition presupposes an illegitimate association between certain properties. Jackson presents his solution by stating that grue emeralds do not exist, insofar as a future emerald can only be blue until it is examined. This solution is grounded in accepting the counterfactual conditions under which we make certain kinds of inferences. In this sense, Jackson accuses Goodman of not accurately dealing with the way we evaluate the circumstances in which certain events occur, insofar as they favor or not the manifestation of certain properties that objects may present. The objective here will be to show how Jackson ground our inductive inferences on our assessment of the conditions that make them valid and his criticism of the idea that projectability depends on the characteristics of certain predicates, as advocated by Goodman.
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