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Inductive vs deductive reasoning problems

  1. Jan 28, 2017 #1
    If you were to tell a story that has some moral lesson in it, is the "moral of the story" an inductive conclusion? For example, many versions of Aesop's fables include a short moral of the story at the end of it. Is that a type of inductive conclusion? I understand induction as moving from specifics to a generalized conclusion, isnt that what is happening in a story like that? Thanks for any help
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2017 #2


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    I'd say, yes, that's true.
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning
  4. Jan 29, 2017 #3
    In the case of Aesop's Fables, I think what you have are illustrations of 'rules of thumb' that are already assumed to be true by some reasoning completely separate from the illustrations rather than being derived from the illustrations by any logic, deductive or inductive. The pre-existing "moral" obviously drives the construction of the illustrative story. The stories can't be literally true: they're full of talking animals. So, it's obvious the stories are constructed to support the rules of thumb they illustrate, and the lesson or moral didn't actually emerge from that story.

    On the other hand, the stories accurately encapsulate chronic human behaviors and large numbers of anecdotes could be gathered that demonstrate people behaving, for example, like the hare in the story of the tortoise and the hare, or like the frog in this story or the ass in that story, etc. and from those anecdotes the moral could be inductively concluded. So when you ask if this is a "type" of inductive conclusion, I lean toward saying, "I think so."
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