We have, therefore, to content ourselves with partial knowledge—knowledge mingled with ignorance, producing doubt.” (William Stanley Jevons)In this quote, the logician William S.Jevons explains the importance of inductive reasoning in human knowledge.Unlike inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, or deduction, is based on absolute logical certainty.
That rule is based on a huge accumulation of data points, not on a mathematical “proof” or derivation from other abstract rules.
This is a common feature of inductions, but it isn’t always present (for example, #2 is not deriving a general rule).
These are central truths for human existence, but they can’t be proven through deductive logic.
Thus, for Hume deductive certainty was an unrealistic standard for philosophy to hold itself to.
In cases like these, the animal’s brain is making an inductive inference.
If we couldn’t use inductive reasoning, we wouldn’t survive a single day.
Inductions, specifically, are inferences based on reasonable probability.
If the premise is true, then the conclusion is Often, Inductive reasoning produces a general conclusion from a specific premise.
They start with particular observations of a pattern, and then infer that there’s a general rule.
For example, everyone knows the general rule in Example #1: the sun always rises and sets the same way.