Definition

deductive reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion is based on the concordance of multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true. 

Deductive reasoning is sometimes referred to as top-down logic. Its counterpart, inductive reasoning, is sometimes referred to as bottom-up logic. Where deductive reasoning proceeds from general premises to a specific conclusion, inductive reasoning proceeds from specific premises to a general conclusion. 

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who is considered the father of deductive reasoning, wrote the following classic example:

  • All men are mortal.
  • Socrates is a man.
  • Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

In Aristotle’s example, sometimes referred to as a syllogism, the premises of the argument -- that all men are mortal and that Socrates is a man -- are self-evidently true. Because the premises establish that Socrates is an individual in a group whose members are all mortal, the inescapable conclusion is that Socrates must likewise be mortal.

 

This was last updated in May 2013
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • data journalism

    - Data journalism in an approach to writing for the public in which the journalist analyzes large data sets to identify potential news stories. (SearchBusinessAnalytics.com)

  • metadata management

    - Metadata management is the oversight of data associated with data assets to ensure that information can be integrated, accessed, shared, linked, analyzed and maintained to best effect across an org... (WhatIs.com)

  • Apache Spark

    - Apache Spark is an open-source parallel processing framework that enables users to run large-scale data analytics applications across clustered systems. (SearchBusinessAnalytics.com)

Glossaries

  • Business intelligence - business analytics

    - Terms related to business intelligence, including definitions about business analytics and words and phrases about gathering, storing, analyzing and providing access to business data.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About deductive reasoningPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.