What Kinds of Reasoning are There

We have now finished with our detailed look at the analytical structure approach. This chapter will consider, in a more general way, how to think about the types of reasoning we might use and encounter. I already noted, in chapter 2, that basically reasoning is either about relationships across time (cause and effect), or within the sets or groups into which we divide and classify objects at any given moment. But there are some other ways of thinking about reasoning that are worth exploring in more detail, while recognising that there is no set way to classify or assert that you are using 'one type of reasoning' but not another. In this chapter we will:

1 Examine the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning—a commonly misunderstood difference.

2 Look at the difference between categorical and propositional logic, to discover in particular how propositions ('if..., then...') can be useful.

3 Look at five types of reasoning, known as reasoning from cause, generalisation, specific cases, analogy, and terms (i.e. definitional).

Deductive and inductive reasoning A common error

The difference between deduction and induction is one of the more vexed issues in contemporary logic. Exactly how (and why) we distinguish between them is subject both to erroneous views and legitimate disagreements. First, let me dispose of a common error, one that has probably been taught to you (or you have read) at some

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