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Eight Elements of Thinking

The four real distinct categories are deductive, inductive, abductive or inference, and analogical. Deductive Reasoning: Consist of Implication and Consequences, and Interpretation and Inference. Deductive reasoning is one of the two basic forms of valid reasoning.

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It starts with an assumed hypothesis or theory, which is why it has been called ‘hypothetical-deduction; this assumption may be well-accepted or it may be rather precarious – nevertheless, for the argument it is not questioned.

This is the opposite of inductive reasoning, which involves creating broad generalizations from specific observations. The basic idea of deductive reasoning is that if something is true of a class of things in general, this truth applies to all members of that class. One of the keys for sound deductive reasoning, then, is to be able to properly identify members of the class, because incorrect categorizations will result in unsound conclusions. Inferences are interpretations or conclusions you come to.

Inferring is what the mind does in figuring something out. Implications are claims or truths that logically follow from other claims or truths. Implications follow from thoughts. Consequences follow from actions. Inductive Reasoning: Entails Concepts and Information. It is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it. Induction is employed, for example, in using specific propositions.

Concepts are ideas, theories, laws, principles, or hypotheses we use in thinking to make sense of things. Inferences are interpretations or conclusions you come to. Inferring is what the mind does in figuring something out. Abductive Reasoning: Take account of Point of view and Assumption. Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

Analogical Reasoning: Comprise of the elements Purpose and Questions at issue. Analogical reasoning is a technique of handling information that associates the resemblances between new and agreed concepts, and then uses those similarities to gain understanding of the new concept. It is a system of inductive reasoning for the reason that it makes every effort to provide understanding of what is likely to be true, rather than deductively proving something as fact.

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