Two main processes allow conclusions to be drawn from sets of premises: inductive and deductive reasoning. Hierarchies of modular arguments can link simpler and more complex arguments.
Reasoning involves the process of inference.
DEFINITION: Inference is judging conclusions to be true based on one or more premises (Barker, 1989).
However, how do we know if we correctly come to conclusions based on the available premises?
The field of Logic studies how to make valid inferences.
Throughout history, concepts of logic have evolved and changed (Thompson, 1992). However, one common categorization splits logic into two main fields. First, "Formal" logic studies the structures ("forms") of valid and invalid arguments. Formal logic can be abstract, and use mathematical symbols and specific operations. Second, "Informal" logic, or "the grammar of argumentation," studies the practical aspects of using language to persuade others (Thompson, 1992).
How do scientists use logic to make inferences? Scientists use two primary modes of inference to support conclusions, DEDUCTIVE and INDUCTIVE reasoning (Moore and Parker, 2017). HIERARCHICAL structures can connect the conclusions of modular inductive or deductive arguments to build larger arguments.