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When we are confident about our generalisations, and a specific case does fit a particular general category, then reasoning from generalisations is very easy and effective. The trick is in making that initial judgment about the relationship between the specific case and the generalisation, as expressed in the premises, so that our conclusion (also about the specific case) is well supported. At the same time, we should recognise that many items fit a number of generalisations—that often an 'item' has many conflicting qualities or components that make it hard to judge the appropriate generalisation. For example, doctors are often confronted with a series of symptoms in a patient that could mean any one of a number of illnesses. The tests that doctors perform are designed to work out exactly which 'generalisation' to apply to the specific patient and thus make sure that the correct treatment is prescribed.

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