Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 G - Generalization

Generalization: Statement that goes beyond such evidence as one has; statement to the effect that everything, within or without particular evidence, is such-and-such.

One may generalize for many reasons, good or bad, but any empirical test of any theory involves some generalization, namely - at least - that the theory also concerns future observations that have not been made yet.

A common usage of "generalization" that is not quite conforming to the above is that of "existential generalization", which concerns that "there is an x which is F" or "some x are F" from "a is F", although it is true that the existential generalization is less definite and so more comprehensive than what it generalizes from.


See also: Induction, Quantifiers, Statistics


Hume, Stegmüller

 Original: Sep 3, 2004                                                Last edited: 22 December 2007.   Top