Induction by enumeration

Eric Martin, Daniel Osherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Induction by enumeration has a clear interpretation within the numerical paradigm of inductive discovery (i.e., the one pioneered by E. M. Gold (1967, Inform. and Control 10, 447-474)). The concept is less easily interpreted within the first-order paradigm discussed by K. T. Kelly (1996, "The Logic of Reliable Inquiry," Oxford Univ. Press, New York) and E. Martin and D. Osherson (1998, "Elements of Scientific Inquiry," MIT Press, Cambridge, MA), in which the scientist's data amount to the basic diagram of a structure. We formulate two kinds of enumerative induction that are appropriate to the first-order paradigm and analyze their potential for discovery. Among other results, it is shown that one form of enumerative induction achieves maximum inductive competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-68
Number of pages19
JournalInformation and Computation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 25 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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