Philosophical Foundations of Building Economics: The Problem of Induction

Orr, V. (1993) Philosophical Foundations of Building Economics: The Problem of Induction. In 9th Annual Conference, the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), 14-16 September 1993, University of Oxford.

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This paper considers the empiricist approach to the problem of induction and the implications in applied building economics. Induction, or the generalising from small to large samples, or generalising from past to the future, is shown to be logically indefensible as a legitimate means of knowledge acquisition thus bringing into question the whole of empirical research as a means of generating knowledge. This raises the issue of the distinction between knowledge and beliefs and the nature of probabilistic statements, and this is examined in the context of building economic modelling. It is concluded that probabilistic statements concern degrees of belief and should be tested as such.

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ID Code: 4523
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Building economics, philosophy, induction, empiricism, probability, models, knowledge, beliefs
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1993 Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Deposited On: 21 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:33

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