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stage. It is often claimed that deduction is a form of reasoning from general rules to specific premises and that induction is the reverse, that is, reasoning from specific cases to a general conclusion. Now, no matter what you might see or read elsewhere, this is wrong. The difference between deduction and induction has nothing to do with general or specific reasoning, but has everything to do with what the conclusion does on the basis of the premises.

We will explore this genuine difference in a moment but let me reassure you that, if the distinction seems hard to grasp, you are not alone. Philosophers have generally sought to retreat to those examples and cases of reasoning which are clearly deductive and clearly inductive: they have not engaged with the muddy mass of indistinct cases which are, by and large, the everyday reasoning we use.

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