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Deductive Reasoning

Radio Q&A: Sunday, 12 August 2012, Question 2

I answered a question on deductive reasoning for Philosophy in Action Radio on 12 August 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.

What is the proper role of deductive reasoning? Is it proper, for example, to deduce the principles of intellectual property from the more general principles of individual rights? Or is that rationalism? More generally, when and how should a person use deduction as opposed to induction?

My Answer, In Brief: Deduction – the application of abstractions to particulars – is a major form of reasoning, yet rationality requires constant shuttling between abstractions and concretes, not formal deduction.

Tags: Deduction, Epistemology, Induction, Logic, Rationality


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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."

My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and most Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of interest.

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