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9 Examples of Logical Thinking

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Logical thinking is the process of using formal methods of reasoning. This generally corresponds to efforts to evaluate facts to make a decision, solve a problem, form an opinion or arrive at a judgement. Logical thinking is one of many useful modes of thinking alongside other approaches such as divergent thinking, counterfactual thinking, design thinking and emotional intelligence. The following are illustrative examples of logical thinking.

Inference

The process of inferring new facts from known facts.
Fact: Paris is a city

Fact: Cities have a mayor or some equivalent

Inferred: Paris has a mayor or some equivalent

Abductive Reasoning

Abductive reasoning is the process of using known facts to develop a hypothesis or theory that may or may not be correct. This is a type of inference that takes a bottom-up approach to logic.
Fact: Tomato yield was low last season

Fact: Weather was stable last season

Fact: We increased pesticide use last season

Hypothesis: Increased pesticide use decreased yield

Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning works from the general to the specific in a top-down approach. This often involves applying first principles that have broad explanatory power.
First Principle: Rebooting a machine often resets its state

Problem: Game system is non-responsive

Possible Solution: Reboot it

Backward Induction

Backward induction is the process of starting with possible futures and working backwards to see how each could be achieved.
A student has a goal to have a low stress job that pays reasonably well. They identify professions that meet these criteria and then map out the steps that are required to join each profession. This may lead to estimates of cost, risk and difficulty and selection of a realistic path to the student's goals.

Garbage in, Garbage out

Garbage in garbage out is a characteristic of logic whereby incorrect premises lead to invalid logic. All logic is built on top of assumptions known as premises that aren't always incontrovertible fact.
Premise: Grey cars have cautious drivers
Observation: Gary drives a grey car
Conclusion: Gary is a cautious driver

Excluded Middle

Traditional systems of logic only handle true and false such that they can't process grey areas. This is known as excluded middle. Humans are sophisticated enough to handle grey areas such that thinking only in true and false can be considered a bias that might be described as black and white thinking.
First Principle: Bad people don't follow the rules.
Observation: Bob doesn't follow the rules.
Conclusion: Bob is bad.

Fuzzy Logic

Fuzzy logic is a term for modern systems of logic that can handle grey areas with probabilities. This is more similar to the way that people think whereby they commonly handle exceptions, partial truths and paradoxical truths.
Premise: Grey cars often have cautious drivers
Observation: Gary drives a grey car
Hypothesis: Gary might be a cautious driver

Cold Logic

Cold logic is the exclusion of human factors from a human problem. Humans tend to make things complex such that it is tempting to use overly simple logic that excludes human realities. This is tends to be perceived as harsh and unrealistic.
Premise 1: Robots compute math more efficiently than humans.

Premise 2: Knowledge can be described with math.

Premise 3: The purpose of life is knowledge.

Premise 4: Efficiency is better than inefficiency.

Conclusion: Humans should be replaced by robots.
The problem with the argument above is that premises 2,3 and 4 are all questionable as they offer a narrow view of things that exclude realities such as the human experience. For example, knowledge of art can't necessarily be described with math.

Fallacies

A fallacy is an error in logic. These can be remarkably difficult to identify such that logical thinking is improved by developing knowledge of known types of fallacy. For example, an argument from silence whereby it is assumed that a lack of evidence proves the opposite.
If politicians were corrupt they would all be in jail.
Overview: Logical Thinking
Type
Definition
The process of using formal methods of reasoning.
Related Concepts

Thinking

This is the complete list of articles we have written about thinking.
Abductive Reasoning
Abstract Thinking
Abstraction
Aesthetics
Analogy
Analysis Paralysis
Analytical Thinking
Anomie
Argument
Argument From Silence
Arrow Of Time
Assertions
Automaticity
Backward Induction
Base Rate Fallacy
Benefit Of Doubt
Big Picture
Brainstorming
Call To Action
Catch 22
Causality
Choice Architecture
Circular Reasoning
Cognition
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Biases
Cold Logic
Collective Intelligence
Complexity Bias
Concept
Consciousness
Constructive Criticism
Convergent Thinking
Counterfactual Thinking
Creative Tension
Creeping Normality
Critical Thinking
Culture
Curse Of Knowledge
Decision Fatigue
Decision Framing
Decision Making
Defensive Pessimism
Design Thinking
Divergent Thinking
Educated Guess
Emotional Intelligence
Epic Meaning
Essential Complexity
Excluded Middle
Failure Of Imagination
Fallacies
Fallacy Fallacy
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Equivalence
First Principles
Formal Logic
Four Causes
Fuzzy Logic
Gambler's Fallacy
Generalization
Golden Hammer
Good Judgement
Grey Area
Groupthink
Heuristics
Hindsight Bias
Hope
Idealism
Ideas
If-By-Whiskey
Illogical Success
Imagination
Independent Thinking
Inductive Reasoning
Inference
Influencing
Informal Logic
Information
Information Cascade
Introspection
Intuition
Inventive Step
Learning
Lifestyle
Logic
Logical Argument
Logical Thinking
Ludic Fallacy
Magical Thinking
Meaning
Mental Experiences
Mental State
Mindset
Misuse of Statistics
Motivated Reasoning
Natural Language
Nirvana Fallacy
Norms
Not Even Wrong
Objective Reason
Objectivity
Opinion
Overthinking
Perception
Personal Values
Perspective
Positive Thinking
Practical Thinking
Pragmatism
Premise
Problem Solving
Proof By Example
Propositional Logic
Prosecutor's Fallacy
Radical Chic
Rational Thought
Realism
Reality
Reason
Reasoning
Red Herring
Reflective Thinking
Reification
Relativism
Salience
Scarcity Mindset
Scientism
Selective Attention
Serendipity
Situational Awareness
Sour Grapes
State Of Mind
Storytelling
Subjectivity
Systems Thinking
Thinking
Thought Experiment
Unknown Unknowns
Visual Thinking
Want To Believe
Whataboutism
Win-Win Thinking
Wishful Thinking
Worldview
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Logic

A few logic terms explained.

Falsifiability

The definition of falsifiability with examples.

Intelligence Examples

An overview of intelligence with examples of different types of intelligence.

Rationalism vs Empiricism

The difference between rationalism and empiricism explained.

Social Constructionism

The definition of social constructionism with examples.

Emotion Opposite

A list of words that describe the opposite of emotion.

True Opposite

The opposites of true.

Begging The Question

The definition of begging the question with examples.

I Think Therefore I Am

The four meanings of the phrase -- I think therefore I am.

Thinking

An overview of thinking with examples.

Systems Theory

The definition of systems theory with examples.

Optimism

The definition of optimism with examples.

Abstract Nouns

The definition of abstract noun with examples.

Ideas

The definition of idea with examples.

Concepts

The definition of concept with examples.

Generalization

The definition of generalization with examples.

Thinking Examples

Examples of different types of thinking.
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