7. Will the Sun rise tomorrow?


We often assume that what’s happened in the past will keep on happening. Because the Sun has risen every day for as long as anyone can remember, we suppose that it’ll rise tomorrow as well. David Hume questioned this style or reasoning. In this chapter, we consider his challenge.


7.1 We introduce the topic.

7.2 We introduce the idea that predictions can be made using enumerative induction. We point out that some predictions are necessary truths.

7.3 We describe Hume’s problem of induction.

7.4 We consider Karl Popper’s account of the scientific method.

7.5 We consider Peter Strawson’s response to Hume’s problem of induction.

7.6 We introduce the idea that there are “basic beliefs” which are justified even without argument.

7.7 We discuss abduction, or inference to the best explanation, and wrap up the chapter.