Deductive: principles → logical consequences
Inductive: observations/evidence → general principles
During the last 300 years, deductive reasoning (including Plato) has been increasingly demonized as dogmatic & non-scientific.
‘platonism’ is often spelled with a lower-case ‘p’. Why? Critics of ‘Platonism’ (upper-case P) were, supposedly, against the certainty of Platonic premises (deductive). Faced w/ the contradiction of original texts (complex original ideas) the compromise was a lower-case p.
What is interesting here is not just the naive dichotomy (between deductive & inductive), not just the contemporary ignorance (of original texts), but something else: deductive reasoning seems to have become a lost art.
It seems more & more common that people considered as experts, academics & scholars can’t see the consequences of their own beliefs (premises). Truth & reality is presented more flexible and open than it is. Truth seems plastic, can alter based on probabilities, evidence etc.
Students trained in the inductive-mania adopt a certain mental framing: any specific conclusion should be drawn on specific evidence.
The lack of [specific] evidence means a lack of [specific] logical conclusion.
So a group of modern experts can discuss the premises of modern feudalism without realizing the logical consequences of feudalism. They can discuss, casually, the premises of modern communism without being aware of its consequences to themselves.
Often, what we call “reductionism” is mostly poor deductive thinking: inability to sort out key-elements & draw conclusions.
For example, why the Platonic “ideal city” is not a Bolshevik communist one? One key-element: no walls. Citizens are not prisoners in the ideal city.
Countless passages of the Bible intentionally train the reader to single out key-elements and draw deductions (necessary vs. sufficient elements).
Are angels good? Well, Satan is an angel.
Is belief in God enough? Well, the demons “also believe, and shudder”
I’ve read my share of books, on numerous topics. Typically, a book (particularly the “scientific” ones) tries to present a single coherent view of reality. The Bible, on the other hand, presents real-life stories of belief, too often with no apparent explanation.
For example, for atheists a “man of Reason” should think or behave in a certain coherent way. According to religious dogmatics, similarly, a simple model to follow.
But if you read the stories of Peter, David or Solomon (& their sins) there is no simple deductive model.
The Bible is not just a set of beliefs. It’s a complex set of stories supporting cause-effect syllogisms. In fact, biblical stories are presented in an angle that would be counter-intuitive to predict with a simplistic belief in God (particularly for young readers).
Was the Bible used (along w/ math & classics) as a training tool for deductions (adding 1000s years of context)?
In fact, Jesus uses nuance (adding words like “if”) to make his disciples more attentive to form careful conclusions. Every word matters.