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Deduction vs Induction

 , updated on March 16, 2021
The discipline of logic has two primary techniques of inference that are known as deduction and induction. Both are methods of drawing conclusions based on observations. That's where the similarities between these techniques end as they are essentially opposite but complimentary approaches to logic. The following are the major differences between the two:

1. Deduction is general-to-specific, Induction is specific-to-general

Deduction is the process of proving a theory. As such, it starts with a general theory and works to find supporting observations. Induction starts with observations and works to find a theory to explain them.

2. Deduction is top-down, Induction is bottom-up

Another common way to describe deduction is top-down problem solving whereas induction is described as bottom-up.

3. Deduction is certain, Induction is likely

Deduction is only concerned with producing logically certain conclusions. That is to say, that it is an attempt to prove a theory. Induction is open to uncertainty and often produces conclusions that are likely but unproven.

4. Deduction is focused, Induction is exploratory

Deduction begins with a theory and is focused on proving it. Induction is more open-ended as an exploration of theories that might explain observed phenomena.

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