# Inductive vs deductive reasoning problems

• instantresults
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of inductive reasoning and whether the moral of a story can be considered an inductive conclusion. While some sources define inductive reasoning as deriving general principles from specific observations, others argue that the moral in a story is already assumed to be true and the story is constructed to support it. However, it is possible to gather anecdotes and inductively conclude a moral from them.
instantresults
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, isn't that what is happening in a story like that? Thanks for any help

I'd say, yes, that's true.
While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given. Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as the derivation of general principles from specific observations, though some sources disagree with this usage.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning

instantresults said:
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, isn't that what is happening in a story like that? Thanks for any help
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."

## 1. What is the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning?

Inductive reasoning is a type of logical thinking that involves generalizing from specific observations to make a conclusion. It uses evidence and observations to form a hypothesis or prediction. On the other hand, deductive reasoning is a logical process that starts with a general statement or theory and then applies it to a specific situation. It uses logical consequences to test the validity of a hypothesis.

## 2. Which type of reasoning is more commonly used in science?

Both inductive and deductive reasoning are used in science, but in different ways. Inductive reasoning is often used in exploratory or descriptive studies to generate new hypotheses or theories. Deductive reasoning is commonly used in experimental studies to test a specific hypothesis or theory.

## 3. How do you determine which type of reasoning to use in a research study?

The choice between inductive and deductive reasoning depends on the research question and the type of study being conducted. If the goal is to explore a new topic or generate new theories, inductive reasoning may be more appropriate. If the goal is to test an existing hypothesis or theory, deductive reasoning may be the better option.

## 4. Can inductive and deductive reasoning be used together?

Yes, inductive and deductive reasoning can be used together in a research study. For example, a study may start with inductive reasoning to generate a hypothesis, and then use deductive reasoning to test that hypothesis through experiments or observations.

## 5. What are the limitations of inductive and deductive reasoning?

Inductive reasoning can lead to incorrect conclusions if the evidence used is not representative or if there are hidden variables that were not considered. Deductive reasoning can also lead to incorrect conclusions if the initial premise or theory is flawed. Additionally, both types of reasoning rely on the accuracy and validity of the evidence and observations used, which can also introduce potential errors or biases.

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