What are the Different Types of Reasoning?

So I did a post series a while back on Reasoning as it applies to Faith, Religion, Christianity, Philosophy, and Atheism.  It is a high level overview of all the different types of methods of reasoning and how they apply theologically.  It is a 9-part series with a Table of Contents Page.

Now in this personal study, I found that there were different types of Reasoning and different types of Logic.

Let’s Start with What is Reasoning?

Reasoning is the capacity for a person to make sense of things to establish & verify facts, To rationaly work through data, information, facts, and beliefs.  It is the process of forming conclusions and judgments from facts or premises.  To put it plain and simple; it is the ability to coherently think from perceived premise to a logical conclusion.

What are the Main Types of Reasoning?

There are two main types of reasoning: Inductive Reasoning and Deductive Reasoning.  However there are several other types of reasoning.  Which are all related to each other.

Deductive Reasoning– Deductive reasoning is the form of reasoning in which a conclusion follows logically and coherently from the factual premises and proposition.  These deductive arguments are based upon the concept of sound and consistent reasoning.  If the premises are true, than the systematic reasoning with a constructed syllogism is considered valid in a deductive argument in making its conclusion certain with a degree of logical certainty.  Plainly speaking. deductive reasoning is the rationality of reasoning from pure logic.  It is considered sound and pure logic.

Inductive Reasoning– Inductive reasoning is a form of reasoning that uses analogies, examples, observations, and experiences to form conclusive propositions.  Inductive logic also uses experiences to formulate statements based on general observations of recurring patterns in nature, science, and everyday occurrences pulling from such things as samples cases, experiments, and natural eye observations.   It is used mostly to explain properties and relations to objects or types based on previous observations.  It must be understood that inductive arguments do not try to establish their conclusions through absolute certainty, but through observable and predictive certainty.

  • In addition, Analogical Reasoning & Matrix Reasoning are both sub-methods of inductive reasoning that correlates information that compares the similarities between new & understood thoughts.  And then uses the similarities to gain understanding of new concepts.  These two forms of reasoning are considered both inductive reasoning because it strives to provide understanding of what is perceived to be true, rather than deductively proving something as fact.

Abductive Reasoning–  In laymen’s terms abductive reasoning is an argument to the best explanation.  It is a form of reasoning that concludes in an abductive argument of what is plausible or most possibly true.  Abductive logic is also considered inference to the best explanation. It is choosing the most likely or best hypothesis or explanation based upon the (most) relevant evidence.  Some people think that it is closer to inductive reasoning because it is not as sound logically as deducing an argument using pure logic as in deductive reasoning.  Others think it is closer to deductive reasoning, because using sound logic one eliminates the most unlikely argument to come to the most reasonable solution.  I like to call it, the best compromise between an inductive and deductive argument.

Reductive Reasoning–  Reductive reasoning is a subset of argumentative reasoning which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false or absurd result/circumstance follows from its denial.  It is proving a statement true by reducing to the opposite of it and showing the absurdity of the opposite result.  It is logically reasoning to the absurd or reducing to the absurd; hence the name why reductive reasoning is also called Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”).  Reductive Reasoning is also considered a mixture of deductive & inductive reasoning.  Inductive, because it strives to prove understanding of what is likely to be true. And deductive because it does resemble traits of critically and rationally of deductively reducing down to a conclusive or non-conclusive argument.

Fallacious Reasoning–  Fallacious Reasoning is not real reasoning, it is the faulty premises for critical thinking and logic.  One of the tall tell signs of fallacious reasoning is a logical fallacy.  A fallacy is usually an error in reasoning and argumentation often due to a misconception, false premises,  or presumptuous conclusions.

  • Circular Reasoning is actually considered more of a form of fallacious reasoning.  It would not be considered valid nor useful in a live debate.

In Summary:

  • Deductive Reasoning: What is (absolutely) true?
  • Inductive Reasoning: What is observably (most) true?
  • Abductive Reasoning: What is most likely true?
  • Reductive Reasoning: What is NOT true?
  • Fallacious Reasoning: What you think is true?
Related Articles:

About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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7 Responses to What are the Different Types of Reasoning?

  1. exrelayman says:

    A lot of games are played with the circular logic concept. Since, broadly speaking, science is the application of logic to the observed world, some sophomoric apologists think they have scored a big point by claiming “You are using logic to justify logic – circular argument, nyah, nyah, nyah!” First, you must start somewhere. If not logic and observation, what? Secondly, that sentence uses logic to defeat logic, nyah, nyah, nyah! Oh, my! Hard to get rid of logic, ain’t it?

  2. josephat omworo says:

    i think i am now okay with abductive and reductive reasoning. thank you!

  3. Pingback: Three types of Reasoning | The Book of Threes

  4. Pingback: Project Logicality: Generalizing & Classifying both Deductively & Inductively | The Call of Troythulu

  5. belogie vanessa says:

    this has helped me alot.thanks

  6. P.Kumar says:

    I am preparing for an entrance exam where the 40% syllabus is of reasoning section, I google “what is reasoning” and found your website, all the information is really very helpful for me but I also need to the list of topics covered under the reasoning syllabus.

    Waiting for your reply.
    Thanks in advance

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