Inductive reasoning is the idea that a conclusion is drawn from multiple premises. We tend to understand certain concepts by building up details from prior knowledge to reach a certain idea. However, this approach to learning has its limitations. Not all conclusions can be drawn from what we know because we aren’t always all knowing about certain concepts. We are also left with no room for drawing conclusions about the future because not all premises are consistent. Different philosophers have gone into detail to make it clear why problems of induction exist and they’ve offered up their own solutions. If exceptions are made to the process of inductive reasoning, or at least different understandings, many problems can be avoided.
To understand the problems behind induction in philosophy, it’s first necessary to comprehend what it actually is. Inductive reasoning is the process of concluding from detailed facts to reach general principles, often referred to as the scientific method (Trimmer). Through induction, we infer and interpret from what has been observed already to understand a greater idea of a whole. Because the process requires outside knowledge, this approach to comprehending general ideas requires evidence from the premises to reach a true conclusion. However, philosophical induction more so suggests a truth rather than guaranteeing it. It’s important that the evidence used in premises to reach conclusions is reliable because it is used to notice patterns to make probably conclusions. For example, there is question as to why many students have transferred out of a statistics class. For evidence, specified examples of students with failing grades are presented. Then the mathematics dep...
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...the premises will hold true in the future because it’s been an ongoing pattern. It’s reasonable to believe this has the greatest chance of predictive success and that doing otherwise is unreasonable, therefore there is justification in using inductive reasoning.
Inductive reasoning does have many flaws to it, but it is a method that we cannot avoid. Though it does not ensure one hundred percent accuracy, it does point out probable generalizations that typically lead to appropriate conclusions. Induction is unavoidable so it is necessary that all comprehend where one could go wrong with the process and how to go right. As long as it’s understood that induction does not produce perfect truths, the approach should continue to be used as regularly as it is. One cannot prevent the practice of inductive thinking, therefore we must recognize how it should be managed.
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