Deductive or Inductive reasoning?

Sherlock Holmes famously said,

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

Is this Deductive reasoning, Inductive reasoning or something else?

newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I would say it's Deductive Reasoning because you are deducing at the conclusion by reducing impossibilities but very interesting question.  Hope someone else can join in.
Chris JonesSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
I'm no philosopher, and I know very little about Arthur Conan Doyle quotes, however,

To me in the most simplistic form appears to be a logical statement of causality:

IF you eliminate all the impossible : THEN the truth is returned.

I've spent a few minutes trying to propose a situation where this may not be true.

I'm wondering if one of our physicist, or quantum computing specialists may be able to offer insight into Q-bits or Schrodinger's cat, and whether they might affect the statement?
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
the statement
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
is inductive reasoning, i.e. from Wikipedia:
Inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning or abductive reasoning) is reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.

however, the process of elimination requires Deductive reasoning, again, from Wikipedia:
Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, logical deduction is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion. It differs from inductive reasoning and abductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true.

Deductive reasoning (top-down logic) contrasts with inductive reasoning (bottom-up logic) in the following way: In deductive reasoning, a conclusion is reached reductively by applying general rules that hold over the entirety of a closed domain of discourse, narrowing the range under consideration until only the conclusion(s) is left. In inductive reasoning, the conclusion is reached by generalizing or extrapolating from specific cases to general rules, i.e., there is epistemic uncertainty. However, the inductive reasoning mentioned here is not the same as induction used in mathematical proofs – mathematical induction is actually a form of deductive reasoning.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
So, your answer explains why the answer was not obvious to me. It was primarily INductive, but secondarily DEductive.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Philosophy / Religion

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.