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7 Types of Reasoning

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Reasoning is the process of thinking about things in a logical, rational way. It is considered an innate human ability that has been formalized by fields such as logic, mathematics and artificial intelligence.
The process of reasoning is used to make decisions, solve problems and evaluate things. It can be formal or informal, top-down or bottom-up and differs in terms of handling of uncertainty and partial truths.
The following are a few major types of reasoning.

1. Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a formal method of top-down logic that seeks to find observations to prove a theory. It uses formal logic and produces logically certain results.

2. Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning is bottom-up logic that seeks theories to explain observations. It is exploratory in nature and allows for uncertain but likely results.

3. Abductive Reasoning

Like induction, abductive reasoning seeks theories to explain observations. It is less rigorous and allows for best guesses. Abductive reasoning is typically used in the context of uncertainty. It is associated with decision making and troubleshooting.

4. Backward Induction

Backward induction is a top-down approach that starts with theories or end-states and works backwards to explain them. It allows for uncertainty and is commonly used in artificial intelligence. For example, it's a classic way for a computer to play chess by considering game end-states and working backwards to evaluate moves.

5. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a process of rational thought that seeks to draw conclusions in an objective, thorough and informed manner. It's a product of human thought and is influenced by factors such as culture and language. Human thought is based on natural language that allows for a great range of ideas to be contemplated. For example, humans can easily process partial truths, commonly known as grey areas, that tend to be a challenge in the field of logic. Critical thinking can also examine complexities such as emotion. For example, critical thinking can be used to critique a film or book.

6. Counterfactual Thinking

Counterfactual thinking is considering things that are known to be impossible. The most common example of this is evaluating past decisions that were once possible but are now impossible as their time horizon has passed. Considering how past decisions might have worked out is a common human thought process that may improve decision making abilities.

7. Intuition

Intuition are judgements that are made by the mind that are perceived by the unconscious. Such judgements exhibit intelligence but the processes by which they are generated aren't well understood. Although intuition is sometimes taken lightly, it has played a significant role in scientific discovery.

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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Reason

The definition of reason with examples.

Problem Solving

An overview of problem solving with examples.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Workaround

A definition of workaround with examples.

Creative Thinking

A list of common creative thinking techniques.

Problems

A list of common types of problems.

Analysis Paralysis

The definition of analysis paralysis with examples.

Arrow Of Time

The definition of the arrow of time with examples.

Business Problems

An overview of common business problems.

Decision Framing

The definition of decision framing with examples.

Research

The common types of research.

Logic

A few logic terms explained.

Law Of Excluded Middle

A classical law of logic first established by Aristotle.

Fuzzy Logic

Logic that allows for partial truths.

Logic vs Intelligence

The difference between logic and intelligence.

Causality

The definition of causality with examples.

Magical Thinking

The definition of magical thinking with examples.

Scientism

The definition of scientism with examples.

Fallacies

A list of logical fallacies.

Mutually Exclusive

The definition of mutually exclusive with examples.

False Balance

The definition of false balance with examples.
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