Distinguishing Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning (General to specific)

When you argue using deductive reasoning, your argument proceeds from a general assumption to more specific statements of fact, evidence, or other ideas. Deductive reasoning may be compared to a top-down argument wherein, if the general principle is true, the conclusion is also true. A classic example in philosophy is the syllogism: “All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” When you use a theory to come up with a conclusion or to explain a specific phenomenon, you also use deductive reasoning. However, if the premise is not wholly accurate, the conclusion could lead to a faulty conclusion. For instance, when you hear reports that the US has relaxed its laws on migrants, you might be led to believe that migrating to the US would be a viable option. Your conclusion should not be based solely on the premise, for there are a number of factors to consider before migrating to any country.

Inductive Reasoning (Specific to General)

This kind of reasoning proceeds from a specific premise to a general conclusion. Also known as the bottom-up logic or cause and effect argument, the reasoning involved in this argument is a set of specific situations used as premise, ending with a definitive conclusion. For example, you’ve personally experienced rude treatment from a foreign national. From then on, you’ve regarded all foreign nationals from that country as rude.

One’s opinion should be backed up by sufficient evidence resulting from sufficient