Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

Hi A and B. Having had a little time to reflect on the intensives, I realized that I had been a bit vague and possibly contradictory with two terms in my discussions about reasoning.

An inductive argument is an argument that uses specific examples (such as that from external sources, personal experiences) to make inferences about the general. It so follows that the conclusion drawn from inductive arguments is only probable and never certain. The danger of inductive argument is that of hasty generalisations in which the examples cited are inadequate in supporting the conclusion of the arguments.

A deductive argument, on the contrary, is one that makes inferences about specific events using what is already known and/or accepted as true. The conclusion in a deductive argument would be logically certain. Hence, deductive arguments generally begin with a broad statement about what is already been ‘proven’. Deductive arguments therefore are statements involving commonly-held values and established scientific facts.

I hope that clears up any confusion people might have had. I also hope that your brains are recovering from their various explosions…


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