The Power of Reasoning

Laura Novakowski  -  Jan 11, 2011  -  Comments Off on The Power of Reasoning
Cogito ergo sum
“I think therefore I am”
Descartes

Thinking is the number one way to success. In this day of speed and quick response, we are starting to circumvent “thinking through” our ideas, plans, conversations… Often, we launch into a relationship, a project, a job, a life, rather than engaging thoughtful consideration and then we have to live with the consequences.

Researchers at Georgia Tech categorize thinking into reasoning and problem solving.

I’d like to discuss reasoning today and save problem solving for another time. Reason is comprised of three ways that people draw conclusions – deductive, inductive or abductive.

Deductive reasoning – using a logical sequence process, from cause to effect. (This can be faulty if the “logic” is based on shaky or erroneous information).

Inductive reasoning – using general information to draw a conclusion about a situation because we don’t have all the relevant facts. (Going with our gut instincts can be very useful)

Abductive reasoning – evaluating the fact and action(s) that followed (this may be problematic because the fact or information may have been wrong in the first place)

The more we evaluate our methods of reasoning the more effective our thoughts become. Some questions we might ask to ensure that we tap into the power of reasoning are:

How logical are our conclusions?

From our past experience, what general information can be applied to this situation?

How accurate are the facts in this situation?

When we take the time to think about how we reason through a decision we have made, we generally come up with better, if not optimal decisions. This saves up time, money, relationship and ultimately leads to lasting personal and professional success.

“Those who have finished by making others think with them have usually been those who began by daring to think for themselves.”
Colton

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