Induction in Physics and Philosophy

These historic lectures present, for the first time, the Objectivist solution to the problem of induction—and thereby complete, in every essential respect, the validation of reason.

Dr. Peikoff begins by identifying the axioms of induction and the method of establishing their objectivity, including the role of measurement-omission. This enables him to make clear the parallels between concept-formation and generalization-formation, and leads him to discover the real distinction between induction and deduction.

Dr. Peikoff goes on to discuss the methods used in science to prove non-axiomatic generalizations and advanced theories. He stresses with many examples (from Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and others) the roles of experimentation and of mathematics.

The course then considers the similarities between philosophy and physics. Dr. Peikoff shows that the differences affect only the form (but not the essence) of induction, and illustrates this fact by analyzing the inductive proof of typical Objectivist principles.

The course concludes that (apart from mathematics) the same process of induction is essential to every rational field-and that, as a result, truth in any such field, including philosophy, possesses the same objectivity as that of physics, the archetype of science itself.


All of Leonard Peikoff’s lectures may be ordered from the Ayn Rand Bookstore via their website, or by calling them at 1-800-729-6149 (U.S. or Canada), or 1-949-222-6557 (International).