After its publication in 1967, The Foundations of Scientific Inference taught a generation of students and researchers about the problem of induction, the interpretation of probability, and confirmation theory. Fifty years later, Wesley C. Salmon’s book remains one of the clearest introductions to these fundamental problems in the philosophy of science. This anniversary edition of Salmon’s foundational work features a detailed introduction by Christopher Hitchcock, which examines the book’s origins, influences, and major themes, its impact and enduring effects, the disputes it raised, and its place in current studies, revisiting Salmon’s ideas for a new audience of philosophers, historians, scientists, and students.
As a presentation of the primary issues concerning the foundations of scientific inference, this volume can be recommended most highly.
This is an excellent little book. One might disagree with some of its contentions; some will disagree with the whole foundational approach. But Professor Salmon has given us a book of exceptional clarity and conciseness.
This study admirably fills the need for an elementary survey of problems in the area of probability and induction. A well-written and challenging introduction to the field.
Few current writers have devoted as much worthwhile attention to the problems of induction as Wesley Salmon. It is good to have his views on the subject expressed in a single, clearly written and extremely useful volume. It can be recommended to students of the field at all levels.
Wesley C. Salmon (1925–2001) was University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, past president of the Philosophy of Science Association, and the author of numerous books, including Four Decades of Scientific Explanation; Space, Time, and Motion: A Philosophical Introduction; and Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.