Inductive Logic

induction (in logic)

induction, in logic, a form of argument in which the premises give grounds for the conclusion but do not necessitate it. Induction is contrasted with deduction, in which true premises do necessitate the conclusion. An important form of induction is the process of reasoning from the particular to the general. Francis Bacon in his Novum Organum (1620) elucidated the first formal theory of inductive logic, which he proposed as a logic of scientific discovery, as opposed to deductive logic, the logic of argumentation. Both processes, however, are used constantly in research. By observation of events (induction) and from principles already known (deduction), new hypotheses are formulated; the hypotheses are tested by applications; as the results of the tests satisfy the conditions of the hypotheses, laws are arrived at—by induction; from these laws future results may be determined by deduction. David Hume has influenced 20th-century philosophers of science who have focused on the question of how to assess the strength of different kinds of inductive argument (see Nelson Goodman; Sir Karl Raimund Popper). For a classic account of inductive arguments see J. S. Mill, System of Logic (1843).

See also R. Swinburne, ed., The Justification of Induction (1974); J. Cohen, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Induction and Probability (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Inductive Logic: Selected full-text books and articles

Foundations of Inductive Logic By Roy Harrod Harcourt Brace, 1957
FREE! Logic, Deductive and Inductive By John Grier Hibben Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905
Challenge and Response: Justification in Ethics By Carl Wellman Southern Illinois University Press, 1971
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Induction"
The Rationality of Induction By D. C. Stove Clarendon Press, 1986
Inductive Probability By John Patrick Day Humanities Press, 1961
Probability and Induction By William Kneale Clarendon Press, 1949
Induction: Some Current Issues By Henry E. Kyburg Jr.; Wesleyan Conference on Induction; Ernest Nagel Wesleyan University Press, 1963
The New Organon By Francis Bacon; Lisa Jardine; Michael Silverthorne Cambridge University Press, 2000
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Evolution of Reason: Logic as a Branch of Biology By William S. Cooper Cambridge University Press, 2001
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