Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Inductive Reasoning: In a strict sense, reasoning to a generalization on the basis of particular instances of that generalization. An example would be the following: “The swan is white; the next swan is white; and so is the next one. Therefore swans are white.” With the exception of mathematical induction, where the premises of the argument do necessarily imply their conclusion, inductive arguments do not lead to certainty. In a broader sense, inductive reasoning is any form of reasoning in which the conclusion is not logically entailed by the premises (or in other words, any form of reasoning other than deductive reasoning). Inferences from effect to cause or from cause to effect, and probabilistic inferences in general, are inductive arguments.”1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 60.