What is deductive reasoning? - Definition from WhatIs.com

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

  • change management

    - Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. (SearchCIO.com)

  • data confabulation

    - Data confabulation is a business intelligence term for the selective and possibly misleading use of data to support a decision that has already been made. (WhatIs.com)

  • data exhaust

    - Data exhaust is a byproduct of user actions online and consists of the various files generated by web browsers and their plug-ins such as cookies, log files, temporary internet files and and .sol f... (WhatIs.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.