Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is also known as deductive logic. This a form of reasoning builds or assesses deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are described as being either valid or invalid. They can never be considered as true or false.

A deductive argument is only valid - if and only if the truth of the conclusion follows directly or is a logical consequence of the premises. The corresponding conditional has to be a necessary truth. Such valid deductive arguments with true premises are said to be sound. In the converse, a deductive argument which is invalid or has one has false premise(s) or both, is said to be unsound.

The classical example of a deductive argument (ie deductive reasoning) is the following:
  • All men are mortal
  • Socrates is a man
  • Socrates is a mortal (therefore)
The contrast to deductive reasoning is inductive reasoning.

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