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Related: induction - reason - science

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Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down". [Aug 2006]

No matter how many times 17th Century biologists observed white swans, and in how many different locations, there is no deductive path that can lead them to the conclusion that all swans are white. This is just as well, since, as it turned out, that conclusion would have been wrong. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science#Induction [Jun 2005]

Definition (philosophy)

In traditional Aristotelian logic, Deductive reasoning is reasoning in which the conclusion is necessitated by, or reached from, previously known facts. The premises: if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. This is distinguished from abductive and inductive reasoning, where the premises may predict a high probability of the conclusion, but do not ensure that the conclusion is true.

Deductive reasoning may also be defined as inference in which the conclusion is of no greater generality than the premises or inference in which the conclusion is just as certain as the premises. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deduction [Aug 2006]

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