# Definition:Inductive Argument

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## Definition

An **inductive argument** is a form of argument in which, if all the premises are true, the conclusion is *probably true*, but might not be.

Such lines of reasoning are ubiquitous in everyday life and in most human endeavors.

However, **inductive arguments** are only conjectures in the field of mathematics.

Such arguments are not truth preserving and therefore they are not proofs.

## Also known as

Some sources refer to induction of this type as **philosophical induction**.

## Note on Terminology

Despite the name, the Principle of Mathematical Induction is a type of deductive argument.

## Also see

## Sources

- 1973: Irving M. Copi:
*Symbolic Logic*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $1$ Introduction: Logic and Language: $1.2$: The Nature of Argument - 1995: Merrilee H. Salmon:
*Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking*: $\S 3.3$ - 1997: Donald E. Knuth:
*The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms*(3rd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $\S 1.2.1$: Mathematical Induction