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deductive reasoning

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

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. While deductive reasoning proceeds from general premises to a specific conclusion, inductive reasoning proceeds from specific premises to a general conclusion. 

Aristotle and deductive reasoning

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.

Aristotle’s example is called a syllogism. A syllogism uses deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion that is based on two or more propositions that are assumed to be true. The premises of Aristotle's logical 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 December 2019

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CRACK COCAINE
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hi
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Excellent brief explanation. Thank you!
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very good explanation ..... this site is very helpful....ThankYou   
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This is straight from wikipedia, too bad you can't create original content
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When I looked up deductive reasoning, this work was the first one I clicked and it was super helpful because it was very concise, so I don't think there's anything wrong in using work from another source, but I agree with you that citing is very important.
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Please tell me how I practice the deductive reasoning in my daily life.

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