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▣ My Essay     Ryan's Warehouse 2018.03.22. 12:43 (2018.03.22. 12:27)

How the Scientific Method Combines Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

By: Ryan Berry
The scientific method is a well-organized process that is used in many fields to find reasonably accurate results. The scientific method combines both deductive and inductive reasoning to identify a problem or question, make an educated guess as to the answer and follow a series of well-defined steps to which could involve experimentation, research, or prior knowledge. The scientific method is an accurate way to prove or disprove hypothesises or theories. The scientific method is an excellent tool for studies, but we wouldn’t have such an excellent procedure if it were not for contributions of several key people such as Sir Francis Bacon, and Rene Descartes.
Sir Francis Bacon was an early pioneer of inductive reasoning, also known as Baconian method. Bacon believed that truth could only be found through observing patterns in uncertainties. Inductive reasoning uses specific observations and patterns to formulate general rules. Unfortunately if the specific observation is not generally applicable the conclusion will be flawed. The Baconian method is an early predecessor to the scientific method, as it uses observations and patterns (early forms of research and experimentation) to come to a more general conclusion, but alone it would be subject to constant debate as to the validity of any conclusions.
Rene Descartes was the founder of deductive reasoning. Unlike Bacon he thought that you could only come to a truthful answer using already existing truths. Deductive reasoning portrays that thought; it applies a general rule to a specific circumstance. Deductive reasoning is thought to be more accurate then inductive reasoning because you are using prior knowledge to reach a conclusion opposed to patterns and observations that may not be valid to a specific situation. The only problem with deductive reasoning that I can think of is that by applying previous knowledge to a specific situation your opportunity to create truly new information is limited.
Fortunately the scientific method is able to combine both inductive and deductive reasoning to provide an accurate procedure to come to conclusions. The scientific method is able to test uncertain ideas, much like inductive thinking, without compromising the accuracy of results. It is able to apply previous knowledge to a situation but still portrays aspects similar to Baconian method to maximize the potential for original conclusions. The scientific method uses both inductive and deductive reasoning throughout the steps involved. The procedure starts with a hypothesis, or educated guess; in this sense the process is similar to inductive reasoning because it begins with uncertainty. To formulate a hypothesis, inductive reasoning can be used to observe patterns before making an educated guess about the conclusion, but it maintains limitations, like in deductive reasoning because it is normally applied only for a situation specific conclusion. The hypothesis is followed by experimentation which either proves or disproves the theory. The experimentation uses both Baconian method and Descartes’ deductive reasoning. It does use research as did Bacon, but unlike Bacon this stage of the process is strictly factual, using prior knowledge and applying it to specific experiments to affect a variable, this ensures that the process will yield the most accurate results possible. Finally, like inductive or deductive reasoning, a conclusion is made and the hypothesis is either confirmed as correct, or disproven.
It is evident that there are traces of both Bacon’s inductive reasoning and Descartes’ deductive reasoning throughout the scientific method. The scientific method is able to combine the beneficial aspects of both ways of thinking in order create a clear method for people to test ideas, not only science but any relative field. The scientific method maintains the certainty of deductive reasoning, while maintaining a concise experimental procedure such as described by Bacon. Although all the people we give credit for the scientific method have passed into history, it remains relevant and widely used to this very day.

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