“Man is a rational animal”, said Aristotle, the founding father of Logic. By saying this, he meant that human beings take reasoning in consideration when they take a decision. They live by the principles of logic and reasoning.
Reasoning is the logical construction of thoughts and turning them into a valid argument. This is what we always do when we decide one thing or another in our daily lives. Anyone who likes to write my essay UK of argumentative nature, has to conform to the principles of logical reasoning in order to prove his position right in front of the reader.
However, students often get confused between the two basic kinds of reasoning i.e. inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. These two forms of constructing an argument are opposite in nature. In this article we are going to discuss the basic nature and methods of both these branches of propositional logic.
First, we will discuss what deductive reasoning is and later we will have a look at inductive reasoning in contrast with the earlier one.
Deductive reasoning is a basic and ancient from of propositional logic. It works on the principle of top to bottom inferences. That means, starting out with a general statement and coming up to a particular statement as a conclusion. We start with an established theory, considering it a truth and try to reach to a logical hypothesis.
It is a process of reasoning in which one or more premises of general nature combine together in a construction to deduce a certain conclusion. If the initial statement(s) or premise(s) are true, the final proposition or conclusion is certainly true as well. This certainty of deduction makes it a powerful form of reasoning.
A common method of following deductive reasoning is syllogism. A syllogism has three propositions – two premises and one conclusion. Both the premises – one major and the other minor premise, are used to help reach a logical conclusion. The most common example of deductive syllogism is:
“All men are mortal.”
“Socrates is a man.”
“Socrates is mortal.”
In contrast with inductive reasoning, deductive logic has either valid or invalid argument. In this example, if the two premises are true, the third one is necessarily followed by them. For example we know that all men are mortal and we also know that Socrates is a man. Therefore, the conclusive proposition is certain that Socrates is also mortal. Hence, in deductive logic, the conclusion necessarily follows its premises.
Inductive reasoning is in direct opposition with deductive reasoning. Where deductive reasoning is certain. Inductive reasoning is always uncertain. It is not valid or invalid but rather strong or weak.
In inductive reasoning, we use a bottom to up method. That means, we take a hypothesis and try to formulate a theory on its basis. This kind of reasoning is also referred to as ‘cause to effect’ reasoning because it derives it premises from particular examples and reaches to a conclusion of general nature. This can perhaps be best understood by this example:
“My neighbor is a teacher and a tall person,
The teacher of my younger siblings is a tall person,
My teacher at college is a tall person,
Therefore it is concluded that all the teachers are tall persons.”
We can see in this example that particular instances are used to derive a general conclusion. In this case, the conclusion is weak, as we can see. But if the premises support the conclusion logically, it can be a strong induction. Most of the people use this kind of reasoning in daily matters. We know that being tall is not a criteria for being a teacher and vice versa. In fact, there is no logical connection between them. But if this connection is provided, the argument can be strong.
This is where both these reasoning become opposite. With one being certain (valid or invalid) and the other being uncertain (strong or weak).
A good knowledge of deductive and inductive reasoning is essential to write any paper of argumentative nature. As a student, when you have to write essay UK or any other paper, using any one of these logical methods will make your argument stronger and any deviation can result a failure of proving your point.