This week we are learning about the power of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is not only extremely common, but it can also provide very good evidence for conclusions. This discussion prompt allows you to present an inductive version of the argument that you have been developing in this course.
Prepare: To prepare to write this discussion, read Chapters 5 and 6, focusing especially the section on “Strengthening Inductive Reasoning” in Chapter 5. Take a look as well at the required resources from this week, including What is a Strong Argument? [Link]
Reflect: Create a new (and improved) version of the argument that you have been developing throughout this course. Try to make sure that all of your premises are true and that your reasoning is inductively strong. Again, consider how someone with the opposite point of view might criticize your argument and see if you can improve it to avoid those objections.
Write: Present your argument in standard form and explain any weaknesses that might remain. A weakness could mean a premise that many might disagree with or questions about the strength of the inference. Indicate briefly how you might address those weaknesses to strengthen your argument further. What further information might strengthen your argument the most?
We have learned in Chapter 5 of our book that inductive inference is the most common kind of inference of all. It happens every day in each of our lives. This discussion will give each student a chance to create examples of common forms of inductive inference.
Prepare: To prepare to answer this prompt, take another look at Chapter 5 of our book, paying close attention to the names of the various forms of inductive inference. Take a look as well at the required resources from this week.
Reflect: Think about examples you have seen of each type of inductive inference in daily life. Consider the relative strength of such inferences in light of the methods of evaluation that you learned in the chapter.
Write: To answer the prompt, create or find one example each of three different types of inductive inference that we learned in Chapter 5. Clearly indicate as well which type of inductive inference it is. For each of your arguments, include an analysis of its degree of strength using the evaluative methods we learned in the chapter for that type of argument.