Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kellogg on Law, Science and the Formative Years of Pragmatism

Frederic R. Kellogg, George Washington University, The Social Dimension of Logical Induction: Law and Science in the Formative Years of Pragmatism, a colloquium paper for presentation at American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting on April 1, 2015.  Here is the abstract:    
After attending lectures on induction by C.S. Peirce in 1866 and reading J.S. Mill’s System of Logic, O.W. Holmes Jr. echoed Mill’s critique of the syllogism and his notion of “reasoning from particulars to particulars.” But he added an element of the emergence of generals from particular judgments, in the social context of legal disputes. Here, the bearing of particular to general is one of consensual emergence, integration from repeated experience into a developing system of classification. This reflects the vision of the British scientist William Whewell, of the growth of knowledge through the tension between facts and ideas. Legal and scientific knowledge may be viewed as forms of community inquiry, focusing on the primacy of cases and exemplars in the process of intersubjective classification, and the role of concepts and theories in guiding the conduct of professional inquirers, framing and maintaining the coherence of expert and general belief.

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