Careful with Inductive Reasoning

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Daniel Strongin
Business Consultant, United States

Careful with Inductive Reasoning

We are filled with ideas, but rarely test them...
Shooting from the hip, as we often do, and defending our point of view to the death, without first testing, is radical inductive thinking. We start with what we observe and then make inferences towards a general theory. This may be necessary, but is not reliable, and suicide for business, because learning depends on chance. How long did it take when people believed the world was flat, until someone finally went to the edge of the world and found out it wasn't?
All insects I have seen fly, so all insects must fly. Thinking so is understandable, but not true.
To really learn, to engage, you have to test reality. Even if your theory is wrong, and it usually is, with a theory as a start and using deductive reasoning, you will actively learn as you engage, and improve.


Patrick Mulvey
Management Consultant, United States

Inductive Reasoning Demands Integrity and Intellectual Honesty

Daniel, excellent point that most overlook. Inductive reasoning although valuable, poses an addition... Sign up


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