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Inductive reasoning

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❶For example, the Deccan Traps in India. A fairly recent debate has arisen over the merits of strict inductivism.

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Understanding Inductive Reasoning


No Chemistry professor has allowed his students to have more than 12 absences in class. Robert teaches Chemistry to a group of third-year college students. Therefore, Robert has not allowed his students to have more than 12 absences in his class.

Christopher is an associate editor of Gander Publications. Harry submitted his college essay for literature in Trentworth Academy. Thelma is a driving lessons instructor. She is diligent, trustworthy and kind. Jennifer is also a driving lessons instructor. She is diligent and trustworthy.

Therefore, Jennifer is also kind. Here is an example:. My backyard is in dire need of cleaning and new landscaping. The Kentucky bluegrass that was planted there five years ago has been all but replaced by Creeping Charlie, a particularly invasive weed. The stone steps leading to the house are in some disrepair, and there are some slats missing from the fence.

Perennials were planted three years ago, but the moles and rabbits destroyed many of the bulbs, so we no longer have flowers in the spring. The reader knows from the very first sentence that the backyard is a mess! Purposes for this kind of writing include business letters and project documents, where the client is more likely to skim the work for generalities or to hunt for only the parts that are important to him or her. Again, scientific writing tends to follow this format as well, and research papers greatly benefit from deductive writing.

Whether one method or another is chosen, there are some other important considerations. Perform research carefully and from appropriate sources; make sure ideas are cited properly. Try not to write questions: Lastly, avoid quotes in thesis statements or conclusions, because they are not your own words — and thus undermine your authority as the paper writer.

You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. The supposedly radical empiricist David Hume 's stance found enumerative induction to have no rational, let alone logical, basis but to be a custom of the mind and an everyday requirement to live, although observations could be coupled with the principle uniformity of nature —another logically invalid conclusion, thus the problem of induction —to seemingly justify enumerative induction and reason toward unobservables, including causality counterfactually , simply that [ further explanation needed ] modifying such an aspect prevents or produces such outcome.

Awakened from "dogmatic slumber" by a German translation of Hume's work, Kant sought to explain the possibility of metaphysics. In , Kant's Critique of Pure Reason introduced the distinction rationalism , a path toward knowledge distinct from empiricism. Kant sorted statements into two types. The analytic are true by virtue of their terms' arrangement and meanings —thus are tautologies , merely logical truths, true by necessity —whereas the synthetic arrange meanings to refer to states of facts, contingencies.

Finding it impossible to know objects as they truly are in themselves, however, Kant found the philosopher's task not peering behind the veil of appearance to view the noumena , but simply handling phenomena. Reasoning that the mind must contain its own categories organizing sense data , making experience of space and time possible, Kant concluded uniformity of nature a priori. Kant thus saved both metaphysics and Newton's law of universal gravitation , but incidentally discarded scientific realism and developed transcendental idealism.

Kant's transcendental idealism prompted the trend German idealism. G F W Hegel 's absolute idealism flourished across continental Europe and fueled nationalism. Developed by Saint-Simon , and promulgated in the s by his former student Comte was positivism , the first late modern philosophy of science.

In the French Revolution 's aftermath, fearing society's ruin again, Comte opposed metaphysics. Human knowledge had evolved from religion to metaphysics to science, said Comte, which had flowed from mathematics to astronomy to physics to chemistry to biology to sociology —in that order—describing increasingly intricate domains, all of society's knowledge having become scientific, as questions of theology and of metaphysics were unanswerable.

Comte found enumerative induction reliable by its grounding on experience available, and asserted science's use as improving human society, not metaphysical truth. According to Comte, scientific method frames predictions, confirms them, and states laws—positive statements—irrefutable by theology or by metaphysics. Regarding experience to justify enumerative induction by having shown uniformity of nature , [9] Mill welcomed Comte's positivism, but thought laws susceptible to recall or revision, and withheld from Comte's Religion of Humanity.

Comte was confident to lay laws as irrefutable foundation of other knowledge , and the churches, honoring eminent scientists, sought to focus public mindset on altruism —a term Comte coined—to apply science for humankind's social welfare via Comte's spearheaded science, sociology. During the s and s, while Comte and Mill were the leading philosophers of science, William Whewell found enumerative induction not nearly so simple, but, amid the dominance of inductivism, described "superinduction".

Rarely spotted by Whewell's predecessors, such mental inventions rapidly evade notice. Having once had the phenomena bound together in their minds in virtue of the Conception, men can no longer easily restore them back to detached and incoherent condition in which they were before they were thus combined". These "superinduced" explanations may well be flawed, but their accuracy is suggested when they exhibit what Whewell termed consilience —that is, simultaneously predicting the inductive generalizations in multiple areas—a feat that, according to Whewell, can establish their truth.

Perhaps to accommodate prevailing view of science as inductivist method, Whewell devoted several chapters to "methods of induction" and sometimes said "logic of induction"—and yet stressed it lacks rules and cannot be trained. Originator of pragmatism , C S Peirce who, as did Gottlob Frege independently, in the s performed vast investigations that clarified the basis of deductive inference as mathematical proof, recognized induction but continuously insisted on a third type of inference that Peirce variously termed abduction or retroduction or hypothesis or presumption.

Having highlighted Hume's problem of induction , John Maynard Keynes posed logical probability as its answer—but then figured not quite. The principle of induction, as applied to causation, says that, if A has been found very often accompanied or followed by B , then it is probable that on the next occasion on which A is observed, it will be accompanied or followed by B.

If the principle is to be adequate, a sufficient number of instances must make the probability not far short of certainty. If this principle, or any other from which it can be deduced, is true, then the casual inferences which Hume rejects are valid, not indeed as giving certainty, but as giving a sufficient probability for practical purposes. If this principle is not true, every attempt to arrive at general scientific laws from particular observations is fallacious, and Hume's skepticism is inescapable for an empiricist.

The principle itself cannot, of course, without circularity, be inferred from observed uniformities, since it is required to justify any such inference.

It must therefore be, or be deduced from, an independent principle not based on experience. To this extent, Hume has proved that pure empiricism is not a sufficient basis for science. But if this one principle is admitted, everything else can proceed in accordance with the theory that all our knowledge is based on experience. It must be granted that this is a serious departure from pure empiricism, and that those who are not empiricists may ask why, if one departure is allowed, others are forbidden.

These, however, are not questions directly raised by Hume's arguments. What these arguments prove—and I do not think the proof can be controverted—is that the induction is an independent logical principle, incapable of being inferred either from experience or from other logical principles, and that without this principle, science is impossible".

In a paper, Gilbert Harman explained that enumerative induction is not an autonomous phenomenon, but is simply a masked consequence of inference to the best explanation IBE. Inductive reasoning has been criticized by thinkers as far back as Sextus Empiricus.

Although the use of inductive reasoning demonstrates considerable success, its application has been questionable. Recognizing this, Hume highlighted the fact that our mind draws uncertain conclusions from relatively limited experiences. In deduction, the truth value of the conclusion is based on the truth of the premise. In induction, however, the dependence on the premise is always uncertain.

As an example, let's assume "all ravens are black. However, the assumption becomes inconsistent with the fact that there are white ravens. Therefore, the general rule of "all ravens are black" is inconsistent with the existence of the white raven.

Hume further argued that it is impossible to justify inductive reasoning: Since this is circular he concluded that our use of induction is unjustifiable with the help of Hume's Fork. However, Hume then stated that even if induction were proved unreliable, we would still have to rely on it. So instead of a position of severe skepticism , Hume advocated a practical skepticism based on common sense , where the inevitability of induction is accepted. It is neither a psychological fact, nor a fact of ordinary life, nor one of scientific procedure".

By now, inductive inference has been shown to exist, but is found rarely, as in programs of machine learning in Artificial Intelligence AI. Inductive reasoning is also known as hypothesis construction because any conclusions made are based on current knowledge and predictions. Examples of these biases include the availability heuristic , confirmation bias , and the predictable-world bias. The availability heuristic causes the reasoner to depend primarily upon information that is readily available to them.

People have a tendency to rely on information that is easily accessible in the world around them. For example, in surveys, when people are asked to estimate the percentage of people who died from various causes, most respondents would choose the causes that have been most prevalent in the media such as terrorism, and murders, and airplane accidents rather than causes such as disease and traffic accidents, which have been technically "less accessible" to the individual since they are not emphasized as heavily in the world around them.

The confirmation bias is based on the natural tendency to confirm rather than to deny a current hypothesis. Research has demonstrated that people are inclined to seek solutions to problems that are more consistent with known hypotheses rather than attempt to refute those hypotheses.

Often, in experiments, subjects will ask questions that seek answers that fit established hypotheses, thus confirming these hypotheses. For example, if it is hypothesized that Sally is a sociable individual, subjects will naturally seek to confirm the premise by asking questions that would produce answers confirming that Sally is in fact a sociable individual.

The predictable-world bias revolves around the inclination to perceive order where it has not been proved to exist, either at all or at a particular level of abstraction. Gambling, for example, is one of the most popular examples of predictable-world bias. Gamblers often begin to think that they see simple and obvious patterns in the outcomes and, therefore, believe that they are able to predict outcomes based upon what they have witnessed.

In reality, however, the outcomes of these games are difficult to predict and highly complex in nature. However, in general, people tend to seek some type of simplistic order to explain or justify their beliefs and experiences, and it is often difficult for them to realise that their perceptions of order may be entirely different from the truth.


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In some quarters, inductive reasoning is referred to as the scientific method which consists of six steps namely; problem statement, evaluation of the problem, hypothesis statement, hypothesis testing, result analysis, stating the findings and lastly revision.

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(This for of inductive reasoning proceeds from a generalization to a conclusion about an individual or sample.) All policemen who are at least 40 years of age have apprehended at least 2 traffic violators. Thomas is a policeman who is 43 years of age.

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Writing the Inductive Essay. Going from examples to conclusions. Inductive Writing. Looks at specific instances and culminates in the conclusion. Understand that inductive reasoning does not necessarily. prove. anything. Conclusion: Cloning Should Not be Encouraged (Writer’s Position). The term "inductive reasoning" refers to reasoning that takes specific information and makes a broader generalization that is considered probable, allowing for the fact that the conclusion may not be khangtran.cftanding Inductive Reasoning. There are varying degrees of strength and weakness in inductive reasoning, and various types including statistical syllogism, arguments .

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Reasoning Reasoning is a method of coming to conclusions by the use of logical argument. There are three basic form of reasoning: inductive, deductive and the combination of both called inductive/deductive (Walliman & Baiche, ). Inductive reasoning does not result with a definite conclusion like deductive reasoning does, but rather is based on past opinion and observations of others. Deductive reasoning applies what is known. 3/5(5).