Inductive argument, in which you make conclusions based on some observations and then “induce” the results of other facts, is a logical tool used by science every day. The problems with your “good-looking man” example are two-fold: “good-looking” is not a quantifiable quantity, but is a value judgment; also, your sample is too small to induce the conclusion. Consider this example: “All the dozens of birds at the bird-feeder are yellow. Therefore, the next bird to feed will be yellow.” In this example, you are “inducing” that birds of a feather flock together. You could alter your example to: “All of this man’s companions are handsome; therefore I induce that he is handsome.” This is far from scientific, but sociological inductions seldom are valid. Prejudice is one form of inductive reasoning, so you see how mistaken it can be. Deductive reasoning, on the other hand, places an individual observation inside the known, proven quality: “All birds have wings (known quality); an ostrich is a bird; therefore an ostrich has wings.”
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