Solutions at this stage are only tentative and so we

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possible answers. Solutions at this stage are only tentative and so we shouldn’t allow ourselves to  be carried away by them. The objective in this phase is not to settle on one conclusion but rather to formulate as many  plausible tentative conclusions as possible. The more tentative conclusions we produce the more  likely we are to conclude a sound one. Forming several tentative conclusions is the best safeguard  against the dangers of accepting or acting upon a proposed conclusion without adequate evidence.  In this phase, it is desirable to give attention to every idea that comes to the mind. This is important  because often, ideas you impatiently reject as wild or irrelevant turn out to be solutions of problems  or important clues to solutions. The fourth phase is  testing of tentative conclusions.  The objective of this phase is to “criticize” all  tentative conclusions by assessing their reliability. All tentative conclusions are reached through  some kind of inference, a process of reasoning by which they are derived from evidence or available facts.    Case Study:  Suppose, for example, a young man of seventeen reads this statement in Nation  Newspaper:  “All males must register for the draft when they reach the age of seventeen.”   If he  concludes that he is about to be drafted and put in the army, his conclusion is the result of an  inference. He combines two pieces of evidence; the statement in the newspaper and the fact that he  is seventeen, and infers that he is soon to be inducted. If he immediately charges down to a  recruiting office in Nairobi to volunteer so that he can choose his branch of the service, he has  violated two cardinal rules of effective thinking: (a) he has formed only one tentative conclusion, and  (b) he has acted on it without testing it for reliability. Although his conclusion could prove to be true, it is not reliable. A conclusion is completely reliable only when it is  known  to be true. In order to know that a  conclusion is true you must know that (a) the evidence used is in itself completely reliable, that is,  known to be true; and that (b) all inferences involved are logically flawless. (Young, 1988). The young man’s conclusion fails to meet either test. He does not know yet whether the statement in the newspaper is true; newspaper statements are often false. Furthermore, his inference is faulty:  even though registration for the draft might be required, it does not follow that anyone is presently  being drafted. The young man’s inference is therefore not reliable at all; he has jumped to a  conclusion. Although a completely reliable conclusion that he was about to be drafted would be 
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