Distinguishing Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
- Textbook: Chapter 8, 9, 17 (Introduction)
- Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
A valid structure is the way in which an argument is put together that assures it will pass the test of logical strength.
In inductive arguments, the speaker presents evidence that she claims support the probable truth of her conclusion – that her conclusion is the most likely true – and so you should accept it.
In deductive arguments, the speaker asserts that her premises are true and, therefore, her conclusion must be accepted. Remember that in a deductive argument, logical strength does not depend on the literal truth of the premises. When we test for logical strength, we assume the premises are true. Once we determine that the argument is logically valid, we can then look at the actual – not presumed – truth of the premises.
Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following:
- Find and post examples of deductive and inductive arguments.
- For each example, evaluate its logical strength, using the concepts and ideas presented in the textbook readings, the lesson, and any other source you find that helps you to evaluate the validity (deductive) or strength (inductive) of the argument. You can use examples from the text, or you can find examples elsewhere.
- Editorials and opinion columns are a good source, as are letters to the editor. Blogs will also often be based on arguments.
- Use mapping and evaluative techniques to make sure it is an argument.
- Is it inductive or deductive? Explain why.
- Does it pass the tests of validity and strength? Explain.
Facione, P. A., & Gittens, C. A. (2016). Think critically (3rd ed.). Pearson.