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Pessimistic induction

Date created: 2021-08-16

“All past beliefs about nature have sooner or later turned out to be false”

As old theories are replace by new ones, the entities of the old theories are frequently discarded and judged to not exist at all.

If the pessimistic induction argument is true — that past scientific theories have typically been disproven and their key constituents shown to not exist — common sense suggests that it will also be true in the future.

Can we really argue that we finally got it right with the DSM-5? It sounds implausible.


  • Kendler, K. S. The nature of psychiatric disorders. World Psychiatry 15, 5–12 (2016).