Both inductive and deductive reasoning are important modes of reasoning that should be used in combination and chosen based on the context of a situation or problem.
The Nature of Reasoning
- Often considered a distinctly human ability, it involves using our intellect to form logical and valid arguments that help the mind move from one idea to a related idea.
- Use your personal experiences and observations to come up with a general truth.
- Conclusions are considered probable.
- Example: Sherlock Holmes looks for trends or patterns and extrapolates on this information to formulate a general truth.
- He is also an exception because it is common for inductive reasoning to reach an incorrect conclusion, but Holmes almost always solves the case.
- Limitations: Mistaking correlation for causation or applying the particular to the general.
- Apply logical rules to your premises until only the truthful conclusion remains.
- Conclusions are considered certain.
- Wrong conclusions often occur because the premises or logic applied to move from one step to another is flawed.
- Limitations: Impractical to use on a daily basis because you must start from a factual premise to which you rarely have access.