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Induction vs. deduction logic

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A way in which a human being can acquire knowledge is by reasoning through guided principles of validity; which is therefore through logic. This extends our understanding of our surroundings. Within logic there are two branches that lead to reasonable conclusions, these are: inductive and deductive logic. In the following paragraphs this two instruments will be described and exemplified in order to compare them as means to reach logic. Inductive logic is the form to achieve a conclusive and specific knowledge through general rules.

It is the urge of humans to construct patterns of observation through time. We all use simple induction all the time; for example. We assume that because the sun has risen every day it will rise tomorrow. Some are more complex; if house prices always raise then whatever I do they will still rise. In some cases there is no need for so many examples, if a teacher is boring the first weeks of schools I assume this teacher will be boring the whole year, and so on.

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However it can be argued that inductive logic is not a sensible way to reach knowledge because of the problems it presents. There are two main problems with inductive logic; the first is the classic example of the ‘black swan’ of concerning the European scientist studying European swans. After all studied swans have been white he draws the conclusion that ‘all swans are white’. Later on black swans are found in Australia and New Zeeland proving that the knowledge acquired through induction was wrong. It argues that there is no certainty that one can gather enough examples to reach a general conclusion. Similarly, through history there have been many ways in which inductive logic has been challenged; some clear examples are world war one, internet, September eleventh and these are all categorized as ‘black swans’ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb who argues that the fact that there has been a repetitive outcome doesn’t mean people shouldn’t prepare for the opposite one. The second problem can be explained with a rooster that has been well fed by a cook a whole year, so it draws the conclusion that it will always be well fed; however it has failed to realize that it is one day away from thanksgiving and the day after the cook kills the rooster instead of feeding it.

This example demonstrates how humans draw conclusions without enough examples, therefore another problem arises: how many examples do we need to form a completely truthful conclusion? On the other hand there is the opposite of Inductive logic: Deductive logic. It is the process by which a secure conclusion can be reached through one or more general statements that are otherwise called ‘premises’. It goes form general to specific. So if one is equal to two and two is equal to three then we know that one is equal to two. This way of reasoning is easily applied to our ordinary lives an example is: every day I leave to school at eight o’clock; I take fifteen minutes and get there on time, therefore if today I leave at eight o’clock I will get to school on time. Another example; all students that have high SAT scores do well in collage, a Laura had high SAT scores, she will do well in collage. Equivalently to Inductive reasoning deductive logic has limitations. The issue is that the premises are either drawn form observation or are merely assumptions. This means that the premises of a deductive argument may come from inductive reasoning, which automatically leads us to the previous problems encountered. It may however be that the deductive argument is not valid rather than false, for example cats are mammals, cats can be pets, hence, all mammals can be pets.

The problem with this argument is that there may be other mammals that are not cats and cannot be pets. But if we assume the argument we are dealing with is valid we still have to consider that the conclusion of a deductive argument can only be proved right if the premises are also proven right. In conclusion induction is generally a prediction of what will occur based on examples of the past while deduction is a way to proof the present or past truth based on the truth previously tested. I believe that deductive logic is more effective because if the premises are completely true then we are certain of a truthful conclusion, while inductive logic always presents doubt because of a the uncertainty of a complete set of examples. However it is still of great importance to mention how the reliability of induction is lead by much more tangible examples while deduction may be constructed with abstract ideas. Moreover either one of them have to be based, to some extent, on faith which makes them less reliable but also goes to show how even rational logic leans on faith to reach knowledge.

Cite this Induction vs. deduction logic

Induction vs. deduction logic. (2016, Jul 10). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/induction-vs-deduction-logic/

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