Inductive Reasoning


Inductive reasoning is also known as “bottom-up” logic. It is a type of reasoning that focuses on creating generalized statements based on specific examples or events. When this type of reasoning is carried out, we work from concrete examples that may or may not be true; then they are transferred to generalized concepts.

We can say that inductive reasoning works as a tool in sophisticated mathematics, even though we have been using it since we were babies! When we use inductive reasoning, we use our experiences and observations to draw conclusions about what will happen in the future. The first few times we dropped something as kids, the object fell to the ground. Eventually, we decided that this pattern would continue, no matter what the object was: things fall. Inductive reasoning is an important way of discovering new things in mathematics.

From a scientific point of view, inductive reasoning developed from the 17th century with the contributions of the philosopher Francis Bacon. This philosopher considered that general conclusions can be reached through tables in which data is collected in a systematic and orderly manner about what is being studied.

In general, this form of reasoning is said to go from the particular to the general. Thus, in some particular cases a certain regularity is observed between them and this logic is what allows a general conclusion to be drawn. In other words, the specific facts are observed in detail and, subsequently, a law is proposed that explains the regularity of said events.

Induction creates general laws based on the observation of real events. Therefore, it is a generalization that could be false. Consequently, the conclusions or laws of the inductive method are probable and are only valid as long as no case contradicts the generalization. Inductivism has been criticized as a valid reasoning strategy because it has a number of gaps.

Inductive and deductive are two different reasoning methods, which are also widely applied in Philosophy and in almost all scientific investigations.

These methods are part of logical thinking and analytical processes, but it is important to know that they are completely different from each other and that they are used according to the needs of the researcher.