The deductive method consists of the way in which you reason or draw conclusions based on a series of premises that are supported by the situation where it develops.
What is the deductive method?
In epistemology , it is that form of reasoning or thinking aimed at drawing its own conclusions based on well-established premises . He starts from the general and is oriented to the specific , and his example can easily be found in any kind of syllogism .
- Characteristics of the deductive method
- What is the deductive method for?
- Importance of the deductive method
- Featured Authors
In philosophy and epistemology , there are many ways or methods that allow us to come to knowledge . These have been applied since the time when Socrates , Plato and Aristotle, who designed the foundations of contemporary thought. One of the methods that has best survived over time is known as Deductive . This would be treated, after all, in that way of thinking aimed at drawing its conclusions based on a series of previous conceptions that serve as a basis. These conceptions are known as premises Due to its robustness and validity of the method, it will be known that the above conclusion is correct or not. We will talk more about this method below.
Characteristics of the deductive method
- It is a method or instrument aimed at reaching accurate conclusions about a fact.
- Part of the general to the more specific .
- The premises are what define what is observed .
- The facts are subordinate to the premises .
- The premises can be unique or varied , and can interact .
- Among the instruments it uses are summaries, maps, diagrams, among others.
What is the deductive method for?
Being a method based on the application of premises to particular facts , the deductive method finds its utility in the area of the application and testing of hypotheses . It is one of the most used methods in scientific research when it comes to corroborating premises or hypotheses in specific facts or phenomena.
Usually, the origins of the deductive method are traced back to Ancient Greek times . Its main antecedent is Aristotle , who made use of syllogisms and other tools as the main means of access to knowledge. But, in the same way, its antecedents are found in Descartes , Leibniz and Spinoza , who are seen as continuators.
A typology of the deductive method is usually the following:
- Direct deductive method : it is that type of method whose foundation is found in a single premise . This premise, being unique, does not need to be confronted or compared with any other. Therefore, it is perceived as the simplest method, at first glance.
- Indirect deductive method : on the contrary, this type of deductive method starts from multiple premises. The conclusions they arrive at will depend on the interactions that the above named premises manage to make.
But how is the procedure of this method ? ¿ What are your next steps ?
In the first place, the set of axioms or premises from which they are going to start must be established. Being a method that starts from the general, defining what it is going to inquire from is important for the method to be solid. To do this, criteria such as the objectivity of the premises , their scope and their coherence are followed . Immediately afterwards, we continue with the deduction itself, which will finally lead to the declaration of universal laws .
Importance of the deductive method
Its importance or significance lies in two essential points:
- It facilitates the description of the research through unquestionable hypotheses, theories or premises by consensus. In this way, its applicability to particular and concrete cases or phenomena can be detected.
- Being a method that confronts the premises with each other, from this confrontation or encounter new premises can be deduced that previously did not exist or were not known. This, in turn, enriches the set of premises and facilitates new research processes.
Some notable authors include:
With his theory of relativity, which was, as such, a set of axioms or fairly structured premises, he managed to find its application to the specific case of the operation of some phenomena of physics. Such a model could be, years later, contrasted through experimentation.
Father of the deductive method and main promoter of it. His postulates put logical reasoning above empiricism or experimentation.
A mathematician whose theorems are a product of this method.
And among others, we can mention:
- Isaac Newton .
- Avicenna .
- Charles Sanders Pierce.
There are many examples that we can capture to understand the deductive method . In essence, we must understand that, unlike the inductive method , which is its counterpart, the deductive method uses logical reasoning and not experience to arrive at its conclusions. Let’s see an example that allows us to know a little about it:
- All Spaniards are European.
- Héctor is Spanish.
- Therefore, Hector is European.
However, one must know how to distinguish between a deduction from a sophistry, from which erroneous conclusions can be reached. Here’s another example of the latter:
- All Spaniards are European.
- Héctor is European.
- Therefore, Héctor is Spanish.
The proper logical organization of the aforementioned syllogism can prevent us from falling into wrong conclusions. It is said to be wrong not because of the experimentation (it is not known if Hector is Spanish or not), but because of the logical reasoning itself.