What is an inductive argument?

Asked on by jleann

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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An inductive argument is one that starts with one specific case and tries to generalize from there.  This is in contrast to a deductive argument in which a person starts with a general rule and tries to apply it to a specific case.

Let us look at an example of inductive reasoning.  Let's say that I meet a person who is from Japan and that person does not like baseball.  From that, I infer that all Japanese do not like baseball.  I am taking one specific case and trying to create a general rule based on that case.

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