Difference Between Inductive Reasoning and Deductive Argument

Reasoning is one of the most outstanding faculties of the human being, since it has served for centuries to solve problems, through conclusions that allow us to take actions. Being one of the most outstanding faculties, many people have studied and classified the way in which our brain obtains these conclusions, two of these forms of reasoning are inductive reasoning and deductive argument.

inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is one based on previous, repetitive experiences that create a pattern and then serve as the basis for generating a conclusion with a high probability of success. The induction process evaluates each experience individually, which adds up to a general idea. This reasoning does not necessarily reach the true conclusion of the facts, since the premises of an individual, which are those propositions that precede the conclusion, may not cover all the facts of an event. Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1: An individual travels through several cities making the following observations:

  • In the first city the cars are blue.
  • In the second city the cars are blue.
  • In the third city the cars are blue.
  • Conclusion: even without reaching the fourth city, he concludes that in the next city the cars are also blue.

In this way the individual, based on his three premises, concludes that in the next city the cars will also be blue (although this is not necessarily correct).

Example 2:

  • Premise 1: A white dog bites an individual X.
  • Premise 2: A black dog bites an individual X.
  • Premise 3: A brown dog bites individual X.
  • Conclusion: conclude that all dogs bite. (not necessarily correct).

deductive argument

Deductive argument is a type of logical reasoning where the conclusion is correct. Use the information from the premises of general ideas to obtain a specific conclusion. In deductive arguments, inference or deduction is greater than inductive reasoning. This is because the conclusion is reflected in one or more premises.

Example 1:

  • Premise 1: Every Monday Pedro comes to work an hour earlier.
  • Premise 2: Today is Monday.
  • Conclusion: Today Pedro comes to work an hour earlier.

In this argument it is deduced that Pedro enters work an hour earlier correctly by means of the premises. Therefore, there is no doubt that the argument is correct.

Example 2:

  • Premise 1: All animals are born, reproduce and die.
  • Premise 2: A cat is an animal.
  • Conclusion: All cats are born, reproduce and die.

The most outstanding differences between inductive reasoning and inductive argument are:

  • Inductive reasoning draws conclusions from particular ideas by generalizing a conclusion while deductive argument goes from the general to particular ideas.
  • Inductive reasoning does not necessarily contain a true conclusion while in deductive argument the conclusion is correct.
  • In inductive reasoning the inference is weak while in deductive argument the inference is stronger.
  • In inductive reasoning new information is generated while in deductive argument the information is already contained directly or indirectly in the premises.

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