# Inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning or abductive reasoning) is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[1] The philosophical definition of inductive reasoning is more nuanced than simple progression from particular/individual instances to broader generalizations. Rather, the premises of an inductive logical argument indicate some degree of support (inductive probability) for the conclusion but do not entail it; that is, they suggest truth but do not ensure it. In this manner, there is the possibility of moving from general statements to individual instances (for example, statistical syllogisms, discussed below). Description Inductive reasoning is inherently uncertain. An example of an inductive argument: For example: Criticism

Deductive reasoning Deductive reasoning links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true. Deductive reasoning (top-down logic) contrasts with inductive reasoning (bottom-up logic) in the following way: In deductive reasoning, a conclusion is reached reductively by applying general rules that hold over the entirety of a closed domain of discourse, narrowing the range under consideration until only the conclusion(s) is left. In inductive reasoning, the conclusion is reached by generalizing or extrapolating from, i.e., there is epistemic uncertainty. Note, however, that the inductive reasoning mentioned here is not the same as induction used in mathematical proofs – mathematical induction is actually a form of deductive reasoning.

Critical Thinking Abilities Weak versus Strong Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves basic intellectual skills, but these skills can be used to serve two incompatible ends: self-centeredness or fair-mindedness. As we develop the basic intellectual skills that critical thinking entails, we can begin to use those skills in a selfish or in a fair-minded way. In other words, we can develop in such a way that we learn to see mistakes in our own thinking, as well as the thinking of others. Or we can merely develop some proficiency in making our opponent's thinking look bad. Typically, people see mistakes in other's thinking without being able to credit the strengths in those opposing views.

Scientific method Diagram illustrating steps in the scientific method. The scientific method is an ongoing process, which usually begins with observations about the natural world. Human beings are naturally inquisitive, so they often come up with questions about things they see or hear and often develop ideas (hypotheses) about why things are the way they are. The best hypotheses lead to predictions that can be tested in various ways, including making further observations about nature. In general, the strongest tests of hypotheses come from carefully controlled and replicated experiments that gather empirical data.

Raven paradox The raven paradox suggests that both of these images contribute evidence to the supposition that all ravens are black. The raven paradox, also known as Hempel's paradox or Hempel's ravens, is a paradox arising from the question of what constitutes evidence for a statement. Observing objects that are neither black nor ravens may formally increase the likelihood that all ravens are black – even though, intuitively, these observations are unrelated. Abductive reasoning Abductive reasoning (also called abduction,[1] abductive inference[2] or retroduction[3]) is a form of logical inference that goes from an observation to a hypothesis that accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as "inference to the best explanation".[4] The fields of law,[5] computer science, and artificial intelligence research[6] renewed interest in the subject of abduction. Diagnostic expert systems frequently employ abduction.

Critical Thinking On The Web Top Ten Argument Mapping Tutorials. Six online tutorials in argument mapping, a core requirement for advanced critical thinking.The Skeptic's Dictionary - over 400 definitions and essays. The Fallacy Files by Gary Curtis.

Reason Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the question of whether animals other than humans can reason. Etymology and related words In the English language and other modern European languages, "reason", and related words, represent words which have always been used to translate Latin and classical Greek terms in the sense of their philosophical usage. Mill's Methods Mill's Methods are five methods of induction described by philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1843 book A System of Logic.[1] They are intended to illuminate issues of causation. The methods Direct method of agreement

Logically Speaking Graham Priest interviewed by Richard Marshall. Graham Priest is one of the giants of philosophical logic. He has written many books about this, including Doubt Truth to be a Liar, Towards Non-Being: the Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality, Beyond the Limits of Thought, In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent and Introduction to Non-Classical Logic. He can be found in Melbourne and New York, and sometimes in St. Andrews.

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