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Induction, philosophy’s toughest zombie

Science is an exercise in inductive reasoning: we are making observations and trying to infer general rules from them. Induction can never be certain. In contrast, deductive reasoning is easier: you deduce what you would expect to ob­serve if some general rule were true and then compare it with what you actually see. The problem is that, for a scientist, deductive arguments don’t directly answer the question that you want to ask.

3 comments

  1. PeterM says:

    Then maybe you should ask smarter questions…

  2. JortM says:

    I have more problems wrapping my head around abduction.

    1. PeterM says:

      That’s possibly because abduction is nothing but lots of hand-waving around a core of bog-standard, naive induction. 😉

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