Critical Thinking Discussion Post

Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following:

  • Find and post examples of deductive and inductive arguments.
  • For each example, evaluate its logical strength, using the concepts and ideas presented in the textbook readings, the lesson, and any other source you find that helps you to evaluate the validity (deductive) or strength (inductive) of the argument. You can use examples from the text, or you can find examples elsewhere.
    • Editorials and opinion columns are a good source, as are letters to the editor. Blogs will also often be based on arguments.
    • Use mapping and evaluative techniques to make sure it is an argument.
  • Is it inductive or deductive? Explain why.
  • Does it pass the tests of validity and strength? Explain.

When determining whether an argument is inductive or deductive, you must assume that all premises are true. Then you must see whether the conclusion would probably or necessarily follow. You are not determining whether the premises are true but judging the kind of reasoning based on the argument’s structure. In other words, you “deduce”.

Example Inductive:

In 2010, an oil drilling rig leased by British Petroleum (BP) was damaged from an explosion, and oil began gushing out of a broken pipe into the Gulf of Mexico. In the six months after the accident, more than 600 sea turtles have been found dead along the Gulf Coast. Since this is a much higher amount than what is typical for the season, it is reasonable to conclude that the sea turtle deaths are a result of the oil spill.

The issue is whether the 600 sea turtle deaths are caused by the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill. The conclusion is that the 600 sea turtle deaths are caused by the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill. The first premise is that in 600 sea turtles have been found dead along the Gulf Coast within six months of the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill. The second premise is that 600 dead sea turtles is a much higher amount than what is typical for the season. This is inductive.

Example Deductive:

Why wouldn’t a woman consider herself a feminist? Even my husband calls himself a feminist. If he can call himself that, then every woman should be able to call herself that. Every woman should consider herself a feminist.

The issue is whether every woman should consider herself a feminist. The implied conclusion is that every woman should consider herself a feminist. The first premise is that my husband calls himself a feminist. The second premise is that if my husband considers himself a feminist, then every woman should consider herself a feminist. This is a deductive argument.