A possible solution to Hempel’s raven paradox


How does Hempel solve the Raven paradox?

Hempel’s resolution

Hempel himself accepted the paradoxical conclusion, arguing that the reason the result appears paradoxical is that we possess prior information without which the observation of a non-black non-raven would indeed provide evidence that all ravens are black.

What is the raven problem?

The Raven paradox is a paradox first presented by the German logician Carl Gustav Hempel in the 1940s. The paradox stems from two intuitive principles for inductive reasoning: (i) logically-equivalent claims are interchangeable and (ii) particular instances confirm the corresponding universal generalization.

Are there ravens that are not black?

A number of species in the genus Corvus, however, have extensive white in their plumage. One of my favorite species the White-necked Raven, Corvus albicollis, of Africa, for example, has a white collar (in addition to its way cool bill). Some other species have extensive white on other parts of their bodies as well.

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