Reasoning means performing a mental activity that requires some intellectual effort. In this sense, reasoning and thinking are similar terms, but not exactly the same. We can think of something (for example, of a certain object ), but that doesn’t mean that we are reasoning. Every reasoning establishes an unfolding of ideas organized with a certain procedure or method . For this reason, we speak of two types of reasoning: the inductive and the deductive.
Seventeenth-century science was based on inductive reasoning
From a scientific point of view , inductive reasoning developed from the 17th century onwards through the contributions of the philosopher Francis Bacon. This philosopher considered that it was possible to reach certain general conclusions through tables that collected in a systematic and organized way what was being studied.
The method or inductive reasoning
Generally speaking, it is customary to say that this form of reasoning goes from the particular to the general. Thus, based on particular cases, a certain regularity is observed and this logic allows us to draw a general conclusion . In other words, concrete facts are observed in detail and, later, a law is proposed that explains the regularity of these events. Inductive Reasoning
Induction creates general laws from the observation of certain real facts. So this is a generalization that could be false. Consequently, the conclusions or laws of the inductive method are probable and will only be valid when there is no case that opposes this generalization. Inductivism has been criticized as a valid reasoning strategy because it has a number of gaps.
We can address certain criticisms that express the weakness of inductive reasoning:
1) When it comes to experimenting with concrete cases, we can ask ourselves how many cases should be part of an experiment (hundreds, millions, etc.)
2) When inductive analysis is based on observation of facts, we cannot forget that the senses can deceive;
3) It is not possible to observe anything rigorously if mentally one does not start from a previous explanatory theory that allows observing reality , because pure observation does not exist and, since it does not exist, it is not reasonable to be an essential element in an investigation .