Funny thing about logic, is that the same logical conclusion can be arrived at using different logical processes. Not all logic is the same, nor is it meant to be. Mathematic and scientific logic are, in fact, different processes. Logic is a process of thought – it moves from one direction, or point, to a concluding point. Sometimes a logical conclusion is arrived at by moving forward through information, sometimes it processes information retroactively, and sometimes logic is arrived at laterally.
There are three primary types of logic: deductive, inductive, and abductive. Each has a different starting and ending point, but all can arrive at the same place. Deductive logic takes a generalization and incorporates its specifics. Inductive logic works the opposite way; it takes specifics to form a logical generalization. Abductive logic works in neither way; it is a lateral process where generalizations and specifics inform hypotheses.
A quick and easy example of this is as follows:
– In deductive logic, a standard syllogism is: 1) All men are mortal, 2) Socrates is a man, 3) Socrates is mortal.
– In inductive logic, the syllogism works as such: 1) Socrates is moral, 2) Socrates, like others, is a man, 3) All men are mortal.
– In abductive logic, the syllogism works like this: 1) All men are mortal, 2) Socrates is mortal, 3) Socrates is a man.
Most people use one of these forms of logic as their dominant logical style. In Math, deductive logic is most commonly used. It drives down to a precise answer. In Science, inductive logic is the primary mode of understanding more generalized scientific laws. For the formation of hypotheses, as a way of understanding phenomenon that is present, abductive logic is the mode that incorporates different parts to form a viable hypothesis.
So, while one person’s logic may seem baffling to some, it’s important to remember that logic is a process of incorporate different pieces of knowledge and being able to test them. As children develop these higher order thinking skills, they need to be allowed to process and test their assumptions safely. The more information and the more interpersonal communication they have, a broader base of logical functioning will be present.
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