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Using Inductive And Deductive Reasoning Through Two Distinct Theories Of Logic: Bayesian Confirmation Theory And Syllogism

897 words - 4 pages

Logic is the language of reasoning. According to Kit Fine, a Professor of Philosophy, logic is a systematic way of explaining what makes an item valid (Films for Humanities and Science, 2004). As humans seek to validate their thoughts and find truth in the world, this science of reasoning is what allows us to develop conclusions, which can then be accepted as truths. Uniting mathematics, philosophy, language, and other disciplines together to help generate these widely accepted truths, numerous logical theories have emerged since the time of Aristotle to shed light on how our minds deduce and arrive at logical conclusions. Two such theories, Bayesian confirmation theory and syllogism can ...view middle of the document...

The determination of probability relies on inductive reasoning to arrive at a likely conclusion. Inductive reasoning involves processing information based on qualitative or quantitative data (Utah State University, 2008). Conclusions are justified using prior experiences, which does not always lead to truthful outcomes. While there is no standard of accuracy with inductive reasoning, the probable outcomes are often accepted as truth (Fieser & Dowden, 2014). Using Bayesian confirmation theory, the probability of these outcomes have often shown successful results (Huber, 2014).
While Bayesian confirmation theory relies heavily on inductive reasoning, Aristotle’s syllogism utilizes deductive reasoning to arrive at conclusions based on given premises. Similar to the transitive property study in mathematics, syllogism utilizes a series of true premises to arrive at a conclusion. In Jan Lukasiewicz’s Aristotle's Syllogistic from the Standpoint of Modern Formal Logic, the following example is used to illustrate this principle: “All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, and therefore Socrates is mortal” (1951). The conclusion is inferred, but it is important to note, that while the premises in this thought process must be true, the conclusion is not always accurate. For example, the following syllogism states, “All poodles are dogs. All dogs are animals. Therefore, all poodles are animals” (Bennett, 2004).
Syllogism utilized the deductive reasoning process to arrive at conclusions. Aristotle believed that the use of deductive reasoning led to accurate outcomes because truthful premises must create valid arguments that arrive out of necessity (Smith, 2011). As with a mathematical equation, premises are treated like variables that once are proven true, should...

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