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Deduction & Induction

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

❶Nevertheless, inductive strength is not a matter of personal preference; it is a matter of whether the premise ought to promote a higher degree of belief in the conclusion.

What Is the Difference Between Inductive Vs. Deductive Reasoning?

Deductive reasoning
What Is the Difference Between Inductive and Deductive Logic?
Inductive reasoning

He then attempts to find data through his observations. A researcher can rely on various research methods in order to gather data for his research questions. This can be interview method or observation method , or any other. In the analytical stage, the researcher attempts to search for patterns from the data. In the final stage of the inductive research, the researcher builds the theory using his data and the identified patterns.

This highlights that in inductive research a bottom-up approach is being used. Grounded theory by Glaser and Strauss can be considered as a fine example of the inductive approach in research. This is mainly because, in Grounded theory, the focus is on creating new knowledge through a cyclic process.

A researcher who steps into the field has an open mind, unbiased, and without preconceived ideas. He derives the research problem mostly from the setting itself, and the data guides him towards the creation of a new theory. Inductive research question example: What causes air pollution the most? Deductive research is quite different from inductive research as it uses a top-down approach in opposition to the inductive research. Deductive research can be understood as a research category that includes a process of testing hypothesis in order to verify a theory.

Unlike inductive research that generates new knowledge through the creation of theories, the deductive research aims at testing a theory. It does not attempt to find patterns in data but uses observation with the intention of validating the pattern. The distinction between deductive and inductive argumentation was first noticed by the Aristotle B. The difference between deductive and inductive arguments does not lie in the words used within the arguments, but rather in the intentions of the arguer.

That is, we assess the argument to see whether it is deductively valid and whether it is inductively strong. The concept of deductive validity can be given alternative definitions to help you grasp the concept. Below are five different definitions of the same concept. It is common to drop the word deductive from the term deductively valid:. Some analysts prefer to distinguish inductive arguments from "conductive" arguments; the latter are arguments giving explicit reasons for and against a conclusion, and requiring the evaluator of the argument to weigh these competing considerations, that is, to consider the pros and cons.

This article considers conductive arguments to be a kind of inductive argument. The noun "deduction" refers to the process of advancing or establishing a deductive argument, or going through a process of reasoning that can be reconstructed as a deductive argument. Although inductive strength is a matter of degree, deductive validity and deductive soundness are not.

In this sense, deductive reasoning is much more cut and dried than inductive reasoning. Nevertheless, inductive strength is not a matter of personal preference; it is a matter of whether the premise ought to promote a higher degree of belief in the conclusion. Think of sound deductive arguments as squeezing the conclusion out of the premises within which it is hidden. For this reason, deductive arguments usually turn crucially upon definitions and rules of mathematics and formal logic. If John is ill, then he won't be able to attend our meeting today.

Therefore, John won't be able to attend our meeting today. That argument is valid due to its formal or logical structure. To see why, notice that if the word 'ill' were replaced with 'happy', the argument would still be valid because it would retain its special logical structure called modus ponens by logicians. Here is the form of any argument having the structure of modus ponens:.

The capital letters should be thought of as variables that can be replaced with declarative sentences, or statements, or propositions, namely items that are true or false. The investigation of logical forms that involve whole sentences and not their subjects and verbs and other parts is called Propositional Logic. The question of whether all, or merely most, valid deductive arguments are valid because of their logical structure is still controversial in the field of the philosophy of logic, but that question will not be explored further in this article.

Inductive arguments can take very wide-ranging forms. Some have the form of making a claim about a population or set based only on information from a sample of that population, a subset. Other inductive arguments draw conclusions by appeal to evidence, or authority, or causal relationships. There are other forms. The police said John committed the murder. So, John committed the murder. The witness said John committed the murder. Two independent witnesses claimed John committed the murder.

John's fingerprints are on the murder weapon. John confessed to the crime. From the barest clues, the English detective Sherlock Holmes cleverly "deduced" who murdered whom, but actually he made only an educated guess. Strictly speaking, he produced an inductive argument and not a deductive one.

Charles Darwin, who discovered the process of evolution, is famous for his "deduction" that circular atolls in the oceans are actually coral growths on the top of barely submerged volcanoes, but he really performed an induction, not a deduction. However, there are many inductive arguments that do not have that form, for example, "I saw her kiss him, really kiss him, so I'm sure she's having an affair. The mathematical proof technique called "mathematical induction" is deductive and not inductive.

Proofs that make use of mathematical induction typically take the following form:. Property P is true of the natural number 0. When such a proof is given by a mathematician, and when all the premises are true, then the conclusion follows necessarily. Therefore, such an inductive argument is deductive. It is deductively sound, too. The difference does not have to do with the content or subject matter of the argument, nor with the presence or absence of any particular word. Indeed, the same utterance may be used to present either a deductive or an inductive argument, depending on what the person advancing it believes.

Consider as an example:. It might be clear from context that the speaker believes that having been made in the Champagne area of France is part of the defining feature of "champagne" and so the conclusion follows from the premise by definition. If it is the intention of the speaker that the evidence is of this sort, then the argument is deductive. However, it may be that no such thought is in the speaker's mind.

He or she may merely believe that nearly all champagne is made in France, and may be reasoning probabilistically. If this is his or her intention, then the argument is inductive. As noted, the distinction between deductive and inductive has to do with the strength of the justification that the arguer intends that the premises provide for the conclusion.

Another complication in our discussion of deduction and induction is that the arguer might intend the premises to justify the conclusion when in fact the premises provide no justification at all. Here is an example:. All odd numbers are integers. All even numbers are integers. Therefore, all odd numbers are even numbers. Therefore, this argument is still deductive. It is not inductive.

Given a set of premises and their intended conclusion, we analysts will ask whether it is deductively valid, and, if so, whether it is also deductively sound. If it is not deductively valid, then we may go on to assess whether it is inductively strong.

What is Deductive Research?

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Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, is more open-ended and exploratory, especially at the beginning. Deductive reasoning is more narrow in nature and is concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses.

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The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.

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Deductive research aims to test an existing theory while inductive research aims to generate new theories from observed data. Deductive research works from the more general to the more specific, and inductive research works from more specific observations to more general theories. Deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are two different approaches to conducting scientific research. Using deductive reasoning, a researcher tests a theory by collecting and examining empirical evidence to see if the theory is true.

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Inductive and Deductive Research Approaches 2 Abstract This discussion paper compares and contrasts inductive and deductive research approaches as described by Trochim () and Plano Clark and Creswell (). 3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.