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Q: compare and contrast inductive and deductive reasoning. provide an example of each to illustrate the similarities and differences of inductive and deductive reasoning.
A: Answer: Inductive and deductive reasoning are both approaches that can be used to evaluate inferences. Deductive reasoning involves starting out with a theory or general statement, then moving towards a specific conclusion. [ Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, takes a series of specific observations and tries to expand them into a more general theory. Each approach is very different, and
it is important to be aware that both inductive and deductive reasoning can end up with false results, especially if the initial premise of the reasoning is false, in which case the results are said to be “unsound.” Inductive Reasoning A simplistic example of inductive reasoning might start with an observation such as “All of the cows I have ever seen are spotted.” One might, in turn, think that therefore all cows must be spotted. This is not actually the case, but given the available information, one might be forgiven for thinking it. The next step in this logic might involve attempting to find things which disprove the assertion that all cows are spotted, as might be done by asking other people if they have seen cows which are not spotted. Inductive reasoning is commonly seen in the sciences when people want to make sense of a series of observation. Isaac Newton, for example, famously used inductive reasoning to develop a theory of gravity. Using observations, people can develop a theory to explain those observations, and seek out disproof of that theory. As can be seen in the cow example above, one of the major flaws with inductive reasoning is that it is dependent on observations, and when observations are incomplete, unsound results may be formulated. In a famous example of inductive reasoning, some people in the ancient world believed that meat spontaneously gave rise to maggots. Their conclusion was based on the observation that if meat was left out, maggots would appear on it. ]
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