Examples 1.3
Deduction and Induction
These are the two groups into which you can divide all arguments.
That is, if you’re
looking at an argument, it’s either deductive or inductive (can’t be anything else).
Again,
since what is most important for this course is talk about arguments, it would be nice to
be able to distinguish the one from the other.
Aside from Chapter 3, this course is
primarily concerned with deductive arguments.
Here are some definitions, followed by a few examples:
Deductive argument
—an argument where the arguer claims it is impossible for the
conclusion to be false given the truth of the premises (that is, if the premises are true,
then the conclusion just HAS to be true also).
The conclusion, thus, follows
necessarily
from the premises.
Inductive argument
—an argument where the arguer claims it is improbable for the
conclusion to be false given the truth of the premises.
The conclusion, thus, follows only
probably
from the premises.
(Technical note which you can forgo or forget, if you want.
Usually attributed to
Aristotle, some have—incorrectly—pinned the deductive/inductive distinction on the
following definitions: a deductive argument is one which proceeds from general
statements to particular statements, from the general to the particular; and inductive
arguments go in the reverse direction, from a few particular statements to general
statements, from the particular to the general.
The problem with this characterization,
though it usually holds, is that we can come up with counterexamples.
Take the
following, a DEDUCTIVE argument that goes from the particular to the general, which is
impossible on the ‘Aristotelian’ definition of deductive/inductive arguments:
3 is a prime number
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 Spring '08
 Barrett
 Logic, Deductive Reasoning, inductive argument

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