Studies in Logic 5 (3) (2012)

Jeffrey Goodman
James Madison University
The definitions of ‘deduction’ found in virtually every introductory logic textbook would encourage us to believe that the inductive/deductive distinction is a distinction among kinds of arguments and that the extension of ‘deduction’ is a determinate class of arguments. In this paper, we argue that that this approach is mistaken. Specifically, we defend the claim that typical definitions of ‘deduction’ operative in attempts to get at the induction/deduction distinction are either too narrow or insufficiently precise. We conclude by presenting a deflationary understanding of the inductive/deductive distinction; in our view, its content is nothing over and above the answers to two fundamental sorts of questions central to critical thinking.
Keywords Deduction  Inductive/Deductive distinction
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