This chapter begins our investigation of inductive arguments by distinguishing the
inductive standard of strength from the deductive standard of validity. Inductive
arguments are defined as arguments that are intended to be strong rather than valid.
Two common examples of inductive arguments are discussed next. In statistical
generalizations, a claim is made about a population on the basis of features of a sam-
ple of that population. In statistical applications, a claim is made about members of
a population on the basis of features of the population. Statistical generalizations
take us up from samples to general claims, and statistical applications then take us
back down to individual cases.
INDUCTION VERSUS DEDUCTION
The distinction between deductive arguments and inductive arguments can be drawn in a variety of ways, but the fundamental difference concerns the relationship that is claimed to hold between the premises and the conclusion for each type of argument. An argument is deductive insofar as it is intended or claimed to be valid. As we know from Chapter 3, an argument is valid if and only if it is impossible for the conclusion to be false when its premises are true. The following is a valid deductive argument: