Deductive Method definition Difference with Inductive Method

Deductive method is an information analysis process that uses logical reasoning and deduction to reach a conclusion about a certain subject. In this article we will give you the definition of deductive method.

In this process, deductive reasonings present conclusions that must necessarily be true, if all the premises are also true and he respects a logical structure of thought.

This method is normally used to test existing hypotheses, called axioms , in order to prove theories, called theorems . Therefore, it is also called the hypothetical-deductive method .

It is then directly related to the principle of deduction , which means the act of concluding or minutely enumerating facts and arguments to reach a conclusion.

In the deductive method, the researcher starts from principles recognized as true, called the major premise , and establishes relationships with a second proposition, called the minor premise . In this way, from the logical reasoning, it arrives at the truth of what is proposed, the conclusion .

Example of the deductive method:
Every mammal has a heart. (Major premise – axiom)
Now all dogs are mammals. (Minor premise)
Therefore, all dogs have a heart. (Conclusion – theorem)

The deductive method has its origins attributed to the ancient Greeks, such as Aristotle, who contributed to the definition of the method through what became known as Aristotelian logic, based on the doctrine of the syllogism . Afterwards, the deductive method was developed by Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.

It is a reasoning method widely used in scientific research and in several areas, such as Philosophy, Education and Law, as it is related to different ways of reasoning.

Difference between Deductive Method and Inductive Method

The deductive method is usually contrasted with the method that uses induction as the main tool of analysis.

While the inductive method starts from specific cases to try to arrive at a general rule, the deductive method starts from the understanding of the general rule to arrive at the conclusion of specific cases.

Another important aspect is that, many times, the inductive method leads to an undue generalization of specific cases, which cannot always be considered true. This does not occur in the deductive method, as it uses the process of premises to reach a conclusion.

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