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In logic, a type of nonvalid inference or argument in which the premises provide some reason for believing that the conclusion is true. Typical forms of inductive argument include reasoning from a part to a whole, from the particular to the general, and from a sample to an entire population. Induction is traditionally contrasted with deduction. Many of the problems of inductive logic, including what is known as the problem of induction, have been treated in studies of the methodology of the natural sciences. See alsoJohn Stuart Mill; philosophy of science; scientific method.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on induction, visit Britannica.com.