Open main menu

Donald Cary Williams (28 May 1899 – 16 January 1983) was an American philosopher and a professor at both the University of California Los Angeles and at Harvard University (from 1939 to 1967).

Donald Cary Williams
Born 28 May 1899
Crows Landing, California
Died 16 January 1983
Fallbrook, California
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Notable students Nicholas Wolterstorff
David Lewis
Main interests
Notable ideas
The reliability of statistical sampling solves the problem of induction



Philosophical workEdit

Williams advocated nominalism in metaphysics[1] where he is best known for his expression of trope theory as the "alphabet of Being".[1]

He also published a book on the problem of induction, The Ground of Induction (1947), which argued that the reliability of statistical sampling solves Hume's skepticism about induction.


He had both Nicholas Wolterstorff and David Lewis as graduate students.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Campbell, Keith; Franklin, James; Ehring, Douglas (28 January 2013). "Donald Cary Williams". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. ^ Wolterstorff, Nicholas (November 2007). "A Life in Philosophy". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. 81 (2). JSTOR 27653995.

External linksEdit