In Short

As we learned in Lesson 14, inductive reasoning is used all the time to make generalizations from specifics. But it can be misused to create arguments for things such as racial prejudice and superstitions. These weak arguments involve fallacies such as jumping to conclusions, chicken and egg, and composition (making a conclusion about a whole based on the qualities of its parts). Learning how to recognize such faulty reasoning will help you to avoid being tricked by it, and also help you avoid making such mistakes in the arguments you make yourself.

Skill Building Until Next Time

■ Read the science section of your newspaper or a science article in a magazine and find an example of inductive reasoning. Check for fallacies. If none exist, come up with a way to apply one of the fallacies in this lesson to the example.

■ Remember that in order to determine cause, you must have enough evidence to support the conclusion. Think about this the next time you are blamed for something, or you hear someone blaming another person. Do they have strong premises on which to base their conclusion? Who or what could have been the real cause?

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Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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