Saturday, September 24, 2011

Logic and Reason in Science

Logic is the set of principles and rules for reasoning. When used correctly and qith the right starting point one will arrive at the correct conclusion.

Deductive reasoning is reasoning that starts with a given set premises and draws a conclusion. Inductive reasoning is reasoning that draws a general conclusion based on a set of examples. So deductive reasoning goes from general principles to specific conclusions. Inductive reasoning goes from specific principles to general conclusions. Both forms of logic are used in science.

Inductive and Deductive reasoning are different and even opposite concepts but in practice deductive and inductive reasoning are often used together even without knowing it.  For example one may be drawing a general conclusion form observed evidence (induction) based on general principles called assumptions. (deduction)

Mistakes in reasoning called Logical fallacies are some times made and they can be made both deliberately and accidentally. It is important to avoid them since they resultant in erroneous conclusions.

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