Inductive Argument

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An inductive argument is a logic-based argument where the premises provide probable support for the truth of the argument conclusion.



References

2011

  • (Wikipedia, 2011) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_argument
    • QUOTE: Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates inductive arguments. The premises of an inductive logical argument indicate some degree of support (inductive probability) for the conclusion but do not entail it; that is, they suggest truth but do not ensure it. Induction is employed, for example, in the following argument:
      • Every life form we know of depends on liquid water to exist.
      • All life depends on liquid water to exist.
    • QUOTE: Inductive reasoning allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false, even where all of the premises are true.[1] For example:
      • All of the swans we have seen are white.
      • All swans are white.
    • QUOTE: Note that this definition of inductive reasoning excludes mathematical induction, which is considered to be a form of deductive reasoning.
    • QUOTE: The classic philosophical treatment of the problem of induction was given by the Scottish philosopher David Hume. Hume highlighted the fact that our everyday functioning depends on drawing uncertain conclusions from our relatively limited experiences rather than on deductively valid arguments. For example, we believe that bread will nourish us because it has done so in the past, despite no guarantee that it will do so. However, Hume argued that it is impossible to justify inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning certainly cannot be justified deductively, and so our only option is to justify it inductively. However, to justify induction inductively is circular. Therefore, it is impossible to justify induction.[2] However, Hume immediately argued that even if induction were proved unreliable, we would have to rely on it. So he took a middle road. Rather than approach everything with severe skepticism, Hume advocated a practical skepticism based on common sense, where the inevitability of induction is accepted.[3]

= 2002

  • http://www.uky.edu/~rosdatte/phi120/glossary.htm
    • inductive argument: An argument in which the premises are intended to provide probable support for the conclusion. It is conceivable, in an inductive argument, that the premises are all true but the conclusion is false, this is just unlikely. (The sun will come up in the east tomorrow morning, because it always has in the past is an inductive argument)
    • inductive argument: An argument in which the premises are intended to provide probable support for the conclusion. It is conceivable, in an inductive argument, that the premises are all true but the conclusion is false, this is just unlikely. (The sun will come up in the east tomorrow morning, because it always has in the past is an inductive argument)

  1. John Vickers. The Problem of Induction. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. Vickers, John. "The Problem of Induction" (Section 2). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 21 June 2010
  3. Vickers, John. "The Problem of Induction" (Section 2.1). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 21 June 2010.