The process of drawing conclusions, including the cognitive process by which people start with some information and come to conclusions that go beyond the given information
A typical outcome of reasoning
Involves sequences of statements called syllogisms
By definition, this is the only type of reasoning where we can be definitely certain about the conclusions we draw
For this type of reasoning, we arrive at conclusions about what is probably true based on evidence
There is always some element of uncertainty with inductive reasoning (likelihood of being wrong varies from case to case)
- Statements or assertions from which conclusions are drawn
- Premises are often made from one or more observations of specific cases, and we generalize to a broader conclusion
- You might think of premises as the reasons for some conclusion
In logic, an argument is a conclusion with a reason (premise) for the conclusion
Representativeness of Observations
We should ask: How well do the observations about a particular category represent all of the members of that category?
Number of Observations
The more the observations, the stronger the argument
Quality of the Evidence
Stronger evidence results in stronger conclusions, The weakest evidence tends to be people's opinions which are highly variable and subjective. In contrast, objective, like that obtained using the scientific process, lends strength to an argument.