Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Baldwin, James Mark
unit arguments upon the other side which 
would balance it. But since it is next to 
impossible to imagine independent arguments 
upon any question, or to compare them with 
accuracy, and since moreover the ‘ other side ’ 
is a vague expression, this definition only 
serves to convey a rough idea of what is 
meant by the strength of an argument. It is 
doubtful whether the idea of strength can be 
made less vague. But we may say that an 
induction from more instances is, other things 
being equal, stronger than an induction from 
fewer instances. Of probable deductions the 
more probable conclusion is the stronger. In 
the case of hypotheses adopted presumptively 
on probation, one of the very elements of 
their strength lies in the absence of any other 
hypothesis ; so that the above definition of 
strength cannot be applied, even in imagina¬ 
tion, without imagining the strength of the 
presumption to be considerably reduced. 
Perhaps we might conceive the strength, or 
urgency, of a hypothesis as measured by the 
amount of wealth, in time, thought, money, 
&c., that we ought to have at our disposal 
before it would be worth while to take up 
that hypothesis for examination. In that 
case it would be a quantity dependent upon 
many factors. Thus a strong instinctive 
inclination towards it must be allowed to be 
a favouring circumstance, and a disinclination 
an unfavourable one. Yet the fact that it 
would throw a great light upon many things, 
if it were established, would be in its favour ; 
and the more surprising and unexpected it 
would be to find it true, the more light it 
would generally throw. The expense which 
the examination of it would involve must be 
one of the main factors of its urgency. 
Returning to the matter of validity, an 
argument professing to be necessary is valid 
in case the premises could not under any 
hypothesis, not involving contradiction, be 
true, without the conclusion being also true. 
If this is so in fact, while the argument fails 
to make it evident, it is a bad ai’gument 
rhetorically, and yet is valid ; for it absolutely 
leads to the truth if the premises are true. 
It is thus possible for an argument to be 
valid and yet bad. Yet an argument ought 
not to be called bad because it does not eluci¬ 
date steps with which readers may be assumed 
to be familiar. A probable deductive argu¬ 
ment is valid, if the conclusions of precisely 
such arguments (from true premises) would 
be true, in the long run, in a proportion of 
times equal to the probability which this 
argument assigns to its conclusion ; for that 
is all that is pretended. Thus, an argument 
that out of a certain set of sixty throws of a 
pair of dice about to be thrown, about ten will 
probably be doublets, is rendered valid by 
the fact that if a great number of just such 
arguments were made, the immense majority 
of the conclusions would be true, and indeed 
ten would be indefinitely near the actual 
average number in the long run. The validity 
of induction is entirely different ; for it is 
by no means certain that the conclusion ac¬ 
tually drawn in any given case would turn 
out true in the majority of cases where pre¬ 
cisely such a method was followed ; but what 
is certain is that, in the majority of cases, the 
method would lead to some conclusion that 
was true, and that in the individual case in 
hand, if there is any error in the conclusion, 
that error will get corrected by simply per¬ 
sisting in the employment of the same me¬ 
thod. The validity of an inductive argument 
consists, then, in the fact that it pursues a 
method which, if duly persisted in, must, in 
the very nature of things, lead to a result 
indefinitely approximating to the truth in 
the long run. The validity of a presumptive 
adoption of a hypothesis for examination con¬ 
sists in this, that the hypothesis being such 
that its consequences are capable of being 
tested by experimentation, and being such 
that the observed facts would follow^ from it 
as necessary conclusions, that hypothesis is 
selected according to a method which must 
ultimately lead to the discovery of the truth, 
so far as the truth is capable of being dis¬ 
covered, with an indefinite approximation to 
accuracy. (c.s.p., c.l.e.) 
Value: see Worth. 
Value (economic) [OF. value, from Lat. 
valere, to be worth] : Ger. Werth ; Fr. valeur ; 
Ital. valore. An estimate of what a price 
ought to be. 
The word value is used in a number of 
different meanings, but this idea of a permanent 
standard or cause of price, as distinguished 
from a temporary or accidental phenomenon, 
lies at the basis of them all. Sometimes 
value is used in the sense of utility; for 
instance, when we say that an article has 
a value to the owner out of all propor¬ 
tion to the amount for which he can sell it. 
This sense of the term was characterized 
by Smith as ‘ value-in-use.' Modern writers 
avoid this term of Smith's, and say ‘degree 
of utility’ (Jevons) or Ophelimity (q.v., 
Pareto). The marginal degree of utility, or 


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