By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
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What are inductive and abductive reasoning?

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Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive

Letting your feelings dictate your beliefs can lead you astray, but understanding the landscape of logical reasoning offers a more reliable path to sound judgment. While there are many types of reasoning, perhaps the most useful to understand first are deduction, induction, and abduction. Deductive reasoning using your mind to figure things out. Like, “All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” With deductive reasoning you rely on the truth of the premises. If they’re true and your logic is sound, your conclusion is true. Inductive reasoning is finding patterns in nature to figure things out. Like, “The sun has risen every day in recorded history, so the sun will rise tomorrow.” With inductive reasoning, you accetp what you see as true until proven otherwise. Abductive reasoning is a best guess based on logic and observation. Like, if you hear hooves outside, you might infer that a horse is nearby, not a zebra, based on what’s most common in your area. There are several other important types of reasoning beyond these three. For a deeper exploration, take the 5-minute deep dive: Types of Reasoning: Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive.

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