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Induction in Physics and Philosophy

Leonard Peikoff

Presented at: SRB 2002 Palo Alto

Date: Aug 10, 2002

These historic lectures present, for the first time, an Objectivist theory of induction. 

Using examples drawn from his recent study of physics, Peikoff first identifies the principles of inductive proof in science. He discusses the methods of validating generalizations and of proving theories, explaining the role played by concept-formation, experimentation, and mathematics. 

Peikoff then defines the similarities and differences between philosophy and physics. He shows that the differences affect only the form (but not the essence) of induction, when the latter is used in philosophy. He illustrates this fact by analyzing the inductive proof of representative Objectivist principles. 

This course demonstrates that (apart from mathematics) any rational field of study uses the same process of induction to reach truth--and that, as a result, truth in any such field possesses the same objectivity. The laws of philosophy, Peikoff concludes, are as scientific as those of physics, the archetype of science itself.


Parts: 5

Handout: none


  • e-Store, 2012 (En) - 796 mins
  • Campus, 2019 (En) - 794 mins
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 91 mins - Lesson 1 - The Axioms of Induction, Part 1
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 98 mins - Lesson 2 - The Axioms of Induction, Part 2
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 126 mins - Lesson 3 - Generalizations in Physics, part 2
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 128 mins - Lesson 4 - Generalizations in Physics, Part 3
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 117 mins - Lesson 5 - Philosophy and Physics: Differences and Similarities
  • YouTube, 2020 (En) - 128 mins - Lesson 6 - Measurements in Physics and Philosophy