Thursday, 5th of February 2009
Today we summarized a relatively small section (which I had read the night before) of the ToK textbook, regarding Reasoning. There are 6 main points to summarize, and since we were in groups of three (I was working together with Darnel and Kevin), we divided the rather complex task into 3 simple tasks. Below is our own version of the 5-page long section:
Inductive reasoning is proposing/stating a generalization based on what we experience through our senses. It is used pretty much on a regular basis, by pretty much everybody, but most of the time we are not aware of it. Basically, we tend to reason things based on the regularity of the things we see. Consider the question “Will the sun rise tomorrow?”. Since we have always seen the sun every morning, we would normally say “Yes, the sun will rise tomorrow,” because of the fact that we have seen the sun every morning, despite the chances (although probably tiny chances) of the sun collapsing at any day.
We tend to make assumptions/generalization based on observation and numbers. These generalizations are very weak, as just one evident contradiction can demolish that generalization.
Statistics give one the range of generalization, that is: we cannot make generalizations beyond the given statistical-data. But, there are instances where statistics is manipulated, and therefore the generalization-range is not true and shouldn’t be taken into account.
We tend to make speculations/generalization based on what we see in the current space and time, and would normally imply these speculations to things beyond the scope of the current time and space.
- Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning
Humans tend to conclude things by eliminating the irrelevant things, and also taking account the relevant things. Those things taken account will then be furtherly processed to give us a more refined conclusion.
When we are doing hypothetico-deductive reasoning to generate a conclusion, we may overlook some things that we should have been taken into account. This is why we must always be open to new things to take into account, and also new conclusions. We should be able to think outside the box to reach the 100% correct conclusion.