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Generalization and Hume's Problem of Induction: Misconceptions and Clarifications
Research Collection School of Social Sciences
  • Eric W. K. TSANG, University of Texas at Dallas
  • John N. Williams, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Working Paper
Publication Date

In Generalizing Generalizability in Information Systems Research Lee and Baskerville (2003) attempt to clarify generalization and distinguish four types of generalization. Although this is a useful objective, what they call generalization is often not generalization at all in the proper sense of the word. We elucidate generalization by locating their major errors. A main source of these is their failure to understand the depth of Hume’s problem of induction. We give a thorough explication of the problem and then give a solution. Lastly, we propose an alternative taxonomy of generalization: theoretical, within-population, cross-population, contextual, and temporal.

  • Research Methodology,
  • Generalization,
  • Generalizability,
  • Induction,
  • Deduction,
  • Hume’s Problem of Induction
Singapore Management University
City or Country
Copyright Owner and License
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0

Published in MIS Quarterly, 2012, 36(3), 729 - 748.

Citation Information
Eric W. K. TSANG and John N. Williams. "Generalization and Hume's Problem of Induction: Misconceptions and Clarifications" (2007) p. 1 - 31
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