Enumerative induction  

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Enumerative induction or, as the basic form of inductive inference, simply induction, reasons from particular instances to all instances, thus an unrestricted generalization. If one observes 100 swans, and all 100 were white, one might infer All swans are white. As this reasoning form's premises, even if truth, do not entail the conclusion's truth, this is inductive inference, logically invalid. The conclusion might be true, and might be thought probably true, yet it can be false.

Logically valid reasoning forms are deductive, usually reasoning from the general to the particular, for instance, All swans are white, and that therefore that black bird is not a swan. In syllogistic logic, enumerative induction infers from particular affirmative to universal affirmative propositions. Enumerative induction's surrounding questions, usually the problem of induction, have been central in philosophy of science, as enumerative induction appears to have a pivotal role in the traditional model of scientific method, inductivism.

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