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Inductive Reasoning In Science Philosophy Essay

The word Induction and Inductive reasoning has a great importance in the field of Philosophy of Science and also in the other fields i.e. Artificial Intelligence and logic etc. Conclusions or results derived by using Inductive reasoning gives us great assistance in the progress of scientific research but conclusions obtained through Induction might lead to false basis and can’t be reliable. This is what we call it limitation or boundary of Induction. In present essay we will shed light on different views and ideas of different philosophers and would conclude on highlighting problems of induction.

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Reasoning is the process of searching and looking for explanations via intellectual argumentation. Arguments are mostly composed of logical and meaningful statements, the propositions consisting of statements and its conclusions. Statements (premises) are based by conclusion. Reasoning will be in two states either it will be Inductive (Induction) or it will be Deductive (Deduction). The difference between Induction and Deduction is that if the assumption of premises (basis) of a statement is true and there is no possibility that conclusion will be false but on the other side if reality of conclusion is not certain then we called it Inductive argument [1]. Reasonable connection between premises and the conclusion is very important otherwise it will lead us to a false conclusion. If we simplify it with an example, so it will be like if Magnus computer scientist taught us Philosophy of Science for about three months so that we will become good economists. If we see the example it’s not making any sense, as being students of Philosophy of Science we can become Philosophers of Science not economist. Artificial Intelligence, Logic, Induction and Deduction has great importance in the field of Philosophy of Science but still there is debate on problems of Induction which needs rational and the logical efforts to solve the problem. We will first define and explain Induction and Deduction before we debates on its problems.

2. Deduction / Deduced Reasoning or deduction

It is that logical argumentation where premises are imagined being accurate and then it’s not possible that conclusions or results from those premises could be false. Actually deductive arguments would be valid or in-valid, but we can say deductive arguments could be valid which goes with in its framework. Invalid and non-deductive statements are those which have one and more than one false premises. Deductions are used to validate special conclusions from common truth [1, 4]. If we clarify it with an example of DSV i.e. “DSV is department of computer and science and Magnus is teacher in the department so Magnus will be giving lectures in computer related subjects”. The decisions dependent upon on deductions are trustworthy. So we can trust on integrity of consequences. So now from above example, we suppose premises that “department of computer science is in DSV is true and it is also true that Magnus is teaching computer science subjects”. So the theme of the example is that it is not possible that conclusion would be false when it based on correct and true premises. The conclusions mostly based on a hypothesis, ideas, anticipation and new theories presenting logical deduction. If there are other related statements available then conclusions are evaluated within its frame. Rational similarities among these statements are examined for equivalence. It has been checked out for compatibility among each other and further it has been tested for other measurements according to its need. For testing any theory we may use rational evaluation from the extract conclusions among the theories. To test the theory logically that it is empirical or scientific, it may be done by comparing a theory with the related theories. So from this test it will show or discover the deepness of conclusions and fulfillment of criteria needed or required in practices. And it is not important that source of conclusions are practical applications or it is scientific experiments. So the procedure or processes are purely deductive. So the conclusions are inferred from predictions. The theory within contradiction and those statements of non-derivable are to be selected and further these derived statements are evaluated in the context of results which are obtained from practical applications and experiments. So decisions are reached through in this fashion. To pass the validation test of a theory, the conclusion of a statement should be verified and acceptable and if it’s a falsified conclusion then theory based on those conclusions will be also be falsified [3].

Inductive Reasoning:

Inductive reasoning is the procedure of reasoning in which we take a particular fact towards common conclusion, but it does not give guarantee that the grounds of intellectual arguments hold the truth or correction of a conclusion. Same case is also applied to true arguments where true premises can take us to false conclusion. Through Inductive conclusion a single statement can be converted into large amount of general theories or statements, which means that Inductive reasoning is the process which leads specific statement into more general form. Induction process based upon individual occurrences and on the basis of those occurrences things are generalized in higher range [1, 4, and 7]. To simplify this we can take example of DSV students. Suppose we have three students X, Y, Z studying at DSV, so based on the ground we can say all the students studying in DSV will be the student of Stockholm University. Inductive reasoning or Induction is criticized by many philosophers like David Miller, Karl Popper and David Hume. These philosophers have controversial debate on Induction and even many philosophers rejected its state of being. To categorize Inductive reasoning by its output it will be divided in two parts Strong and Weak Induction. Here Strong Induction facts on statement grounds will be in likely conclusion but not confirm the truth. The morality of the assumptions can make us sure or clear that conclusions will be based on truth but still there is no guarantee that it will be 100% correct [7]. The example will be, if all people at DSV are educated, so from this we perceive a general conclusion from single statement. But truth or result is doubtful or un-clear because if we have a single person un-educated at DSV, then our whole conclusion will be false or wrong, which is called “proof of falsification” [2]. Weak Induction persuades conclusions from premises of statements and it creates weak connection between conclusion and the premises because premises are not true or correct either. To simplify this we will give an example, let’s suppose I m going to university by bus, so there all student will go to university by bus. I am using bus because it might be near to bus station. So by this I draw conclusion that all student will go to university by bus because I had practiced that, which is not normal. So this is simplification based or depended on truth or correct premises. This does not make any sense to guess the conclusion grounded on such foundations as there is no strong relationship between these two. Because we don’t have any surety or proof that all students go to university by bus. There will be some students who use their own cars or subways for transportation. On the basis of these conclusions or deduction made are overgeneralizations [7]. Scientific theories and laws are certainly universal generalizations mostly obtained following a narrow or small number of experiments and science observations in science. Such theories supported by confirmation using Induction or Inductive reasoning. This verification of logical theories is reliable and dependable process and vindicates our trust in those hypotheses, science will be “blind guess” if theories are not confirmed or verified inductively. Inductive derivation takes one to inventive inferences and resourceful formulation of latest or new theories grounded on solid evidence and then newly developed theories confirmed by associating evidence to using induction [8].

4. Induction Problem

As mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, Induction proceeds or leads to precise universal truth to a more general from a precise truth. The derived conclusion may always be wrong or false which leads this situation to a new discussion or debate which is called problem or difficulty of Induction [5, 3]. Whether it can be trusted or not? If it trustable then under which situations? Or in other words we say that Induction justified and supported? If it is yes, how it will be? Let’s consider arguments that at Sal B we have taken lectures of Philosophy of Science from last three months, also Newton’s 3rd law of motions which is for every action we get equal but opposite reaction. So from above arguments could we trust on the conclusions extracted, could we trust that the class of Philosophy of Science will be taken in Sal B today or tomorrow? Scientists might observed thousands of action and reactions which are equal and also in opposite but still they are not sure that a football/ball thrown towards a rock or wall will bounce back or come back in same speed or not. Even we can’t ignore factors like the resistance of wind/air and the wall, stated above in the theory? We can draw conclusions which are grounded on Induction. Due to no syllogism and logical actions from grounds to conclusion, deduction cannot be possible in this moment, depending on the Induction look like the most suitable solution. Main idea of Induction is to believe that condition will remain same in all experimental cases and by this it will succeed all other arguments as well [5]. Problems of Induction are still remained opened for debate from many ages and many scholars wrote different views and reviews on the problem and difficulty of Induction. Here we will express and present some Philosophers views.

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4.1 David Hume’s

According to Hume’s views on Induction in science, he says that it cannot be proved that induction could be trusted. Hume’s claims that if there is no surety for integrity of any situation or regulation based on decision, in this case the result can be considered un-deterministic. He says that it is not important that our observation will be similar as it was predicted. However he proposed the principles that are used for exercise in Induction depends on nature of consistency. The things that cannot be observed due to our restriction at a specific instance but in reality they can be discernible, we will consider them similar to those which are observed as a sample. If we are agreed with the idea of consistency nature on the foundation of conclusion, in that case the result will surely be justified. But still we are not able to assume our clarifications. In order to solve these problems the only way or option can be Inductive Reasoning that is dependable on the nature of uniformity. He also says that the earlier achievements of the Inductive reasoning cannot validate or justify Induction. And the achievements in past does not necessarily support the future accomplishment [4, 8].

4.2 Karl Poppers

Like Hume’s, Popper also has views on the problem of Induction. Popper took the Newton 3rd law of motion and explained that scientists have researched thousands of time on action and reaction, there is always same reaction on every action but it does not give any surety that next time it will be the same reaction again. It does not mean that a law should be satisfied again as if it is satisfied before. As about Popper, he does not believe in justification or explanation of Induction and believes in deductive approach towards falsification. In “objective knowledge” written by Popper in this paper he discusses and expresses his thoughts on the problem of Induction. Further, in the paper he says that he solved a big problem, which is Induction problem and the solution he founded has been very fruitful and it also helps other theoretical problems [6]. The method he proposed is to completely reject the Induction, and he clearly addresses the similar problem in another place. “This take us to practical problems of Induction which are (a) from logical point, on which theory we should trust for practical/theoretical action. (b) On logical point, which theory should be selected for practical or workable action [6]? ” My answer for the above questions will be for (a) we should not depend on a theory on its logical point until it is true or it is shown that it will be true. (b) In this we should chose and prefer the most or best tested theory and the selection will be by logical to choose the best one. From the statement mentioned above suggested and clarify that Popper’s does not believe in theories. He says that until no one shows or gives proof, that the theory is true and reliable. He further suggested that as there is no proof of reliable theory so we should select a theory which is most and best tested. Best theories are those which keep its existence from ages and Popper ranked higher theories by its “critical discussion”. Karl Popper was against the theory of Induction which says that assumptions can give us some level of probability and reliability. The concept of probability proposed that conclusion of the scientific problems can be true or false. As described in the Inductive principle that conclusions cannot be true or false, but the most certain values will be consider, so we cannot obtain anything from such scientific statement.

4.3 Wesley C. Salmon’s

According to Salmon’s view on Induction problems, he was against the Karl Popper’s views regarding problem of Induction. He was discussing the Poppers idea, claiming that a theory can be considered a well tested theory, if a theory is good for practical prediction or by theoretical explanation. Moreover Salmon’s expressed that the theory can be well tested for some critical discussion and Popper stated that the theory may be well tested for some explanation based on theory. According to Salmon’s we required to apply Induction for the prediction of the future, in order to fill the space among the decisions making that are used in essential actions/events in future. According to Salmon’s deduction is not a proper choice for logical prediction, while taking any practical decision. Further he described that scientific research is possible without induction procedure, but in this case the science will be dumb like a car without wheels [6].

5. Conclusion

From the above essay we can conclude that Induction or Inductive reasoning has performing an important role in advanced scientific research, but unluckily conclusions that are derived from Induction may not be reliable and cannot depend on it, which took us to Induction problems. Different philosopher has different ideas regarding induction. Salmon’s supports Induction and he consider it as an important step for scientific research. David Hume and Karl Popper are not in favor of Induction ideas for research in science. Popper has denied the logicality of feasible idea in Inductive reasoning. There is no exact point for all philosophers to approach towards. After examining the views of philosopher, we can say that conclusion come using Induction or Inductive reasoning is not anything to place inside or placed outside a boundary by differentiation criteria. The results came through Induction are lie around the boundary on true or false conclusion. To be precise, it is reasonable to go with likely/probable conclusion else to completely reject the Induction or Inductive reasoning, which is also the view of Wesley C. Salmon

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