# Free «Raven's Problem» Essay Sample

The Raven’s Problem, a central paradox featured in scientific methods, which basically involves inductive reasoning, was presented by a philosopher Carl Hempel. This essay aims at describing the Raven’s Problem as well as explaining the ways it can be resolved.

To begin with, Hempel used ravens as an example to explain the problem. The person participating in the experiment has to assume that he or she sees a raven that is black in color. After this encounter, all other ravens that are seen are black. One may then conclude that the observation is beyond coincidence, and it is just that all ravens are black. However, this hypothesis has an equivalent form implying that all things that are not black in color are non-ravens. As a result, every time one sees a black raven, the hypothesis that all ravens are black is confirmed. The same reasoning may be applied when one sees a non-black non-raven thing.

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However, the above kind of inductive reasoning leads to a paradoxical conclusion. Firstly, according to the hypothesis, every sight of a non-black thing would lead to the conclusion that it is not a raven. Subsequently, if somebody sees a blue shirt, they would argue that it is not a raven because it is not black; thus, such a conclusion appears irrelevant and lacking sense. On the same note, each time one sees a raven that is black in color, it serves as a confirmation that all ravens are black. However, the fact that all ravens that one sees are black does not necessarily mean that all ravens are black. Notwithstanding, it is a fact that every time an instance A that is in accordance with some theory B is observed, it leads to an even stronger belief that the theory B is true. This is contrary to the fact that all unobserved things are not necessarily consistent with the observed things. Subsequently, it may be weird to conclude that just because one happened to see many blue shirts, all of the shirts are blue. On the other hand, the inference that all non-blue items are not shirts is also inadequate.

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