Home/Inductive Reasoning

Induction is a process of reasoning whereby general propositions are established based upon a limited amount of particular instances; it typically involves passing from the particular to the general, saying something new based on what we already know. Polling would be a good example of this. We take polls of a population to draw a conclusion about the whole population. In this process, we are gathering data from a limited number of instances, a small subset of the population, and we then use that data to draw conclusions about the whole population. Because inductive reasoning involves generalizing from what we know to what might be true, induction can not be certain it can only have varying degrees of strength, which can be interpreted statistically. Inductive reasoning may be almost 100 percent true, but never be proven certain like deductive conclusions.