What Is Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning or inductive logic as it is called otherwise is the reasoning that is derived from a specific case or certain cases and then generalized. This means that at times when a person sees, observes or notices something he would conclude that that is how it always happens. They derive a specific event to be a general rule.

Let us consider an example. If a person says that he saw four horses and all the horses were black. Then the person comes to a conclusion that all the horses are black. This is called inductive reasoning. Here the cases that the person saw black horses have been generalized into telling that all horses are black. The inductive reasoning may or may not be true.

This inference can be derived in four stages. The first stage is observation. In this stage the person should merely collect facts by observation or any other way. In this situation he should be unbiased and take the observations without any prior decision on the mind. The second stage is analysis. In this stage the facts that are collected will be analyzed thoroughly. Patterns of regularity if any are noticed and studied.

Then the next step involves drawing inferences from the analysis. This will determine whether a relationship exists between the facts that are collected or not. Once the relationship is clear the next and the final step is confirmation. This involves testing the conclusion that has been drawn. If it comes out to be correct then it can be generalized.

Induction reasoning can be strong or weak. The terms strong and weak will only show the quality of the inductive argument. The premises is the fact based on which the inductive argument is given. An inductive argument is considered to be strong if the premises on which it is based is conclusive, in other words if the person making the inductive argument believes strongly in the premises then it is said to be a strong inductive reasoning.

The same way when the person is not too sure about the premises on which the argument is based then the inductive reasoning become weak. A very weak inductive reasoning would be closer to a probabilistic reasoning. This means that there is a probability of the reasoning being true but it is not likely to be true always.

Inductive reasoning basically means the ability of the person to generalize things based on a certain or a few incidents that they might have observed. It includes various steps before coming to a conclusion. The reasoning can be strong o weak depending on the premises on which it is based.