Refraction (Bent Thinking) of the Day #28

Hasty Generalization: Basing a conclusion to an inductive argument  on too small of a sample. Refutation: A generalization is just that – a statement about what is generally the case. If the sample used to draw the conclusion is relatively small compared to the larger set, then it is not a safe inference.  Example:  Abby: Bob, each of the three doctors in our town assured me that marijuana use is safe, therefore, the medical community in this country okays the use of marijuana. Side Note: Inductive arguments can never result in “truth”. By definition, the most they can return is possibility and probability. Safety of inference is determined by comparing the size of the entire set to the size of the sample. For more on types of arguments, see the Critical Reasoning Tab.

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