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Formal Versus Informal Logic

Deductive Versus Inductive

Forms of Reasoning
Two basic categories
of human reasoning

Deduction: reasoning from general premises, which are

known or presumed to be known, to more specific, certain
Induction: reasoning from specific cases to more
general, but uncertain, conclusions.

Both deductive and inductive arguments occur frequently

and naturallyboth forms of reasoning can be equally
compelling and persuasive, and neither form is preferred
over the other (Hollihan & Baske, 1994).
Deduction Vs. Induction

Deduction: Induction
commonly associated commonly known as
with formal logic. informal logic, or
involves reasoning everyday argument
from known premises, involves drawing
or premises presumed uncertain inferences,
to be true, to a certain based on probabalistic
conclusion. reasoning.
the conclusions the conclusions
reached are certain, reached are probable,
inevitable, reasonable, plausible,
inescapable. believable.
Deductive Versus
Inductive Reasoning

Deduction Induction
It is the form or structure By contrast, the form or
of a deductive argument structure of an inductive
that determines its validity argument has little to do with
the fundamental property its perceived believability or
of a valid, deductive credibility, apart from making
argument is that if the the argument seem more
premises are true, then
the conclusion necessarily clear or more well-organized.
follows. The receiver (or a 3rd party)
The conclusion is said to determines the worth of an
be entailed in, or inductive argument
contained in, the premises.
example: use of DNA
testing to establish
Inductive or deductive reasoning?

A sample of fifty The Law of the Sea treaty

motorists who were states that any vessel
stopped by the CHP at a beyond a 12 mile limit is in
sobriety checkpoint on a international waters. The
Saturday at midnight treaty also states that any
revealed that one in four vessel in international
drivers were either waters cannot be legally
uninsured, intoxicated, stopped or boarded.
Therefore, when the U.S.
or both. Thus, if you get
Coast Guard intercepts
involved in an accident boats coming from Cuba or
on the freeway there is a Haiti more than 12 miles
25% chance the other from the U.S. coast, it is
motorist will be drunk or violating the Law of the
uninsured. Sea.
Sample Deductive and Inductive Arguments

Example of Example of
Deduction Induction
major premise: All Boss to employee:
tortoises are Biff has a tattoo of an
anchor on his arm. He
vegetarians probably served in the
minor premise: Navy.
Bessie is a tortoise
Therefore, Bessie
is a vegetarian
sample Venn diagram
of a deductive argument

vegetarian animals tortoises

All tortoises Thus, Bessie
fall in the must be a
circle of vegetarian
animals that

Bessie falls into the circle

of animals that are
Other types of
deductive arguments
Suppose every place in
the world that people A. all wooden houses
live is represented by are found in Canada
the blue space inside B. Everyone lives in a
the rectangle. Suppose wooden house
the long pink oval C. Some Canadians live
represents all the in wooden houses
wooden houses in the D. No one lives in
world. And, suppose Canada
the green circle
represents Canada.
The most logical
conclusion one can
draw from the figure is:
Other types of
deductive arguments
Suppose the following
statements are all true: A. Person L is taller than J
Person L is shorter
B. Person X is taller than
than person X
Person Y is shorter
than person L C. Person J is taller than L
Person M is shorter D. Person J is taller than
than person Y M
What additional piece E. Person M is taller than
of information would Y
be required to
conclude that Person Solution: Answer C
Y is shorter than M<Y<L< X
Person J?
So, if J is taller than L,
Y must be shorter than J
Other types of
deductive arguments
A mother wants to order Which combination of
one large pizza, with toppings should she
exactly 5 toppings for her select if she is to satisfy
three picky children. She all three childrens
can choose from 7 combined demands?
toppings; cheese, A. pineapple, onions,
mushrooms, olives, ham, cheese, mushrooms,
sausage, onions, and
B. cheese, sausage, ham,
pineapple. olives, pineapple
Fifi says there has to be C. cheese, mushrooms,
pineapple ham, onions, pineapple
Mona says there cannot D. sausage, mushrooms,
be any olives onions, cheese, and
Rex says that if there is ham.
going to be sausage,
then there has to be
ham too.
the five topping solution
chee mushro oliv ham sausag onio pineapp
se om e e n le

Fifi Yes

Mona No

Rex then if
ham sausa

Note: the statement if sausage, then ham doesnt

imply If ham then sausage. The obverse doesnt
necessarily follow.
Deduction Versus Induction
Deductive reasoning is Inductive reasoning
either valid or invalid. enjoys a wide range of
A deductive argument
cant be sort of valid. probability; it can be
plausible, possible,
If the reasoning reasonable, credible,
employed in an etc.
argument is valid and
the arguments
the inferences drawn
premises are true, then may be placed on a
the argument is said to continuum ranging from
be sound. cogent at one end to
valid reasoning +
true premises =
fallacious at the other.
sound argument
fallacious cogent
Deduction Versus Induction
--still more

Deductive reasoning is Inductive reasoning is

commonly found in the found in the courtroom,
natural sciences or hard the boardroom, the
sciences, less so in classroom, and
everyday arguments throughout the media
Occasionally, everyday
Most, but not all everyday
arguments do involve
deductive reasoning: arguments are based on
Example: Two or more
persons are required to Examples: The
drive in the diamond lane. reasonable person
You dont have two or standard in civil law, and
more persons. Therefore the beyond a
you may not drive in the reasonable doubt
diamond lane standard in criminal law