Hot Asian Induction

In Montreal, their are many Asian women, all of whom are beautiful.

Infrince A:
One Asian woman is beautiful.
Two Asian women are beautiful.
Three Asian women are beautiful.
All Asian women are beautiful.

Infrince B:
One beautiful Asian woman lives in Montreal.
Two beautiful Asian women live in Montreal.
Three beautiful Asian women live in Montreal.
All beautiful Asian women live in Montreal.

Now which inferance is sound? If A is valid then I would want to go to Asia (which has many Asian women.) But if B is sound then I never want to go to Asia.

Neither are valid, because in either you attempt to extend certain qualifications of the group of women in the absense of others while maintaining a group. The three qualifications for the group of women are : Beautiful, Asian, and in Montreal. In the absense of any one you cannot predict the presence of the other two based on the evidence, all you can do is predict probabilities, i.e. if 100% of a large sampling of Asian women (those in Montreal) are beautiful, it is likely that the greater population follows suit. Not logically necessary based on the evidence, but probable, in the absense of extenuating circumstances (such as a massive trend of cosmetic surgical enhancement among Asian women in Montreal).


Well yes of course. Induction is always probabilistic in nature. Yet, the real crux of the question is which line of thinking do I follow? You seem to go along with A, that its likely that a good proportion of Asian women everywhere are good looking. But it seems just as likely to that many of the ones that happen to be good looking also are in a position to study abrod and travel during most of their ‘prime years’.

Why pick A over B?

I was gonna point out, but then I wasted a few hours reading Atlas Shrugged (no comment) that the term “valid” applies to deductive arguments. I think for Inductive its called “sound” or “cogent” (I think). From a technical standpoint, neither inference is “valid”.

I would go with B, as it contains a given that the particular Asian woman/women in Motreal is/are beautiful.

As I understand, the more verifiable information placed in a claim… the stronger it becomes (or more cogent/sound) in regards to induction.

Magical editing makes it like it never happend.

I remember that now. It’s pretty standard. No need to bring Ayn Rand into all this. :wink:

B huh. I guess I save money on a plane ticket at least. I guess there is something to what you are saying. B does put into play more of the relevant information.

B makes a lot more sense, since the original statement is speaking of beautiful asian women in montreal, not simply just beautiful asian women. But really, neither make sense because “beautiful” is an opinion, and what is beautiful to one may be ugly to another.

Well we could always replace beautiful with other predicates- like semetrical face… Or to make this simple. Let’s replace it with LostGuy would like it if he saw it.

what I don’t understand is why would you logically infer that all Asian women in montreal are beautiful, or even all Asian women? Maybe I am just being too practical, but I would infer that many Asian women in Montreal were beautiful (or symetrical or whatever) but that I wouldn’t be sure that was true unless I took a poll on it and gathered statistical information. That seems like the most logical inferance that you could possibly draw from the afore mentioned statement.

Well that’s simply not how induction is done. We say “All copper conducts eletricity,” even though we have only had cheifly earth samples of copper and tested realitivly few of them.

If I haven’t seen a non-beautiful asian woman in montreal, why should I allow myself to belife in such a chimera?

Well, for one, Asian women are much different then copper. Copper is an element, and we know that element consists of a certain atomic structure. That structure does not ever deviate from one sample of copper to another. In the case of the Asian women, we are referring to a vastly complex set of organisms of which no two are identicle, and all are unpredictable in nature. To classify them all as one thing due to the evidence provided seems rather presumptuos, and inaacurate to say the least.

How’s this for a go:

Asian woman one is not identicle to Asian women two and three. Asian womantwo is not identicle to Asian women one or three. Asian woman three is not identicle to Asian women one or two. Therefore, no two Asian women are identicle.

So, Asian women one, two, and three may all be symmetrical and live in Montreal, but since no two Asian women are the same, it doesn’t make sense to induce that all Asian women in Montreal are beautiful.

That’s a good one. I like it.

In fact I think we can use it to show that there is a pecie of copper that doesn’t conduct eletricity.

Hey LostGuy,

It might be useful to bring Hempel’s Paradox into the discussion.

It’s also worth noting that valid induction is not a road map to certainty. Inductive reasoning is generally useful despite the fact that through induction we can come to some disastrous conclusions. Consider the well-known example of the Inductive Chickens. They observe that on every morning of their life a farmer has arrived to feed them. Every morning strengthens their conclusion that morning is invariably followed by a farmer cum feedbag. Only, one morning the farmer arrives with an axe instead of a feedbag.


there probably is a piece of copper somewhere that cannot conduct electricity, but I don’t think that induction is a very powerful form of reasoning. For instance:

one door swings inward

another door swings inward

a third door swings inward

all doors swing inward


one AC unit is broken

another AC unit is broken

a third AC unit is broken

All AC units are broken

Okay, that paradox is interesting. But I still find a flaw in the raven example used in there. What if I were to take a raven and die it white? Then there would be a white raven. Just because there are now in existance only black ravens (assuming that is true) that doesn’t mean that there will never be in the future non-black ravens for whatever reason.

Alien wrote:

Hi Alien,

That’s not what Hempel’s paradox is about. That’s not even the implication of induction. A proper inductive conclusion doesn’t discount the possibility that the future will bring a counterexample (as indicated by the Inductive Chickens). Inductive conclusions are forever falsifiable.

As for the non-conductive copper example, at the risk of being pedantic I’d point out that (apart from superconductivity) conductivity is a relative property. Ohm’s Law suggests that for a high enough applied voltage you could get a nasty shock touching dry wood. Similarly, a fine strand of copper wire under ambient conditions will not conduct one thousand amperes of direct current. It will fuse instead. Finally, it’s possible that we will discover a state symmetrically opposite to that of superconductivity. In such a state copper might be absolutely non-conductive. Given my understanding of physics that prospect seems unlikely but not impossible.


okay, that makes a little more sense. So then no actual conclusions are drawn by this logic. So then:

One raven is black

Two ravens are black

Three ravens are black

and so on…

therefore, it is more likely that all ravens are black then the likelyhood of a non-black raven, instead of therefore all ravens are black, right?

I got what the paradox was saying… But I agree with the statement below about that seeing a non-black object should increase the assertion that all ravens are black because if we were shown all non-black things in the universe, and not a single one of them was a raven, then we could come to the conclusion that all ravens are black. That makes sense to me.

But I could take you to the beach tomarrow and show you a thosand non-green non-eletrons. Does this mean eletrons are green, or even more likely to be green?

The question of whether or not all Asian women in Montreal can be beautiful is irrelevant to the intention of the question. Whether or not EVERY SINGLE ONE is beautiful is not the issue, obviously enough were found by the poser of the question to lead him to simplify his term to “all”. It may be technically innaccurate, but it keeps the question simple so that those who attempt to answer it can try to answer his questions. Instead, we’ve been siderailed into discussions about the strict validity of his usage of the word all. Technical bickering aside, I’d say if you like Asian women, just stay in Montreal. You’ve sampled that population and found it suitable to your tasts, strongly so, and with no clear evidence that you would find the same results elsewhere (Asia specifically), I’d recommend staying where you’ve found what you want.


Yes it does mean that it is slightly more likely that electrons are green, even though that likelyhood in this case is so small that it could be ignored. The chance that they were green, with no evidence what so ever would be 50/50 because either electrons could be green, or they could be not green. But once you have shown me even just one not green electron, you have provided some evidence, no matter how slight that it is that electrons are green. For one, once we have found at least one green electron, then we have proven that it is possible for electrons to be green. That there were no green electrons still existed as a possiblity up until we found a green electron, however, it was the same likelyhood as the possibility that there are green electrons. After finding that green electron, the possiblity that green electrons don’t exist does not exist any longer. It’s like wave probability functions.

So now we have discovered a green electron, we have drawn this logical conclusion: green electrons exist, all electrons may be green, not all electrons may be green. So now, based upon the data we have, it is just slightly more probable that all electrons are green, then some electrons being not green. The more non-green electrons we find, and more green non-elecetrons we find, the greater the probability that all electrons are green. That is until we have discovered an electron that is not green at which the probability function of all electrons are green would collapse.

That sound about right?