Full Text

uniformity of nature

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science A principle claiming that nature is uniform and that consequently the future will resemble the past and that generalizations holding for observed cases will apply to unobserved cases so long as the background conditions remain sufficiently similar. In traditional epistemology , Francis Bacon and J. S. Mill assumed the principle to be the ground for the validity of inductive reasoning and scientific predictions. The aim of science is to find uniformity. But Hume argued that the principle can only be justified by induction and thus that justifying induction by appeal to the principle involves vicious circularity or question-begging. Popper , in his rejection of inductive method, claimed that the uniformity of nature is a matter of faith. “The belief in the uniformity of nature is the belief that everything that has happened or will happen is an instance of some general law to which there are no exceptions.” Russell, The Problems of Philosophy ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top