Mills Inductive Reasoning Essay

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Mill’s Inductive reasoning Mill's method of agreement identifies a cause of an event in terms of its sufficient condition. When using this method, one searches for a single factor that is common to multiple situations in which the same event occurred. Mill says that, when two or more occurrences of the event under investigation have only one condition in common, then that condition is the cause of the event. (Mill, 2002) More simply stated, Mill's method of agreement eliminates all but one common precursor. Mill's method of agreement requires that in all cases where a consequence has occurred, the antecedent condition must be present. This method isolates the supposed origin by listing all of the possible factors that can be…show more content…
Method of Difference According to Mill, if an occurrence in which the event being investigated occurs, and an instance in which it does not occur, have every condition in common except one, then that one circumstance in which alone the two instances differ is the effect, or the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause, of the occurrence. The method of difference necessitates a comparison of at least one case in which the occurrence appeared and at least one in which it did not, (Kemerling, 2001). Simply stated, Mill's method of difference is the exclusion of all differences between the cases being studied except one between instances in which the effect occurred and those in which it did not. For example, in the case above: Suppose our four co-workers all ordered the same meal - Hamburger, Fries and a Diet Pepsi. However, one decided to add a slice of cherry pie. It would be reasonable for that one person to say, "I shouldn't have had the pie. It made me sick." The pie may have been spoiled or perhaps the sickness was from over eating - we're not sure. However, it would be reasonable to conclude that we have isolated the pie as a factor that caused that one person's nausea, (Kemerling, 2001). The major difference between the indirect method of difference and the method of agreement is that the indirect method uses negative cases to strengthen conclusions drawn
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