Quick Definition: Linking premises with conclusions
Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic or logical deduction or, informally, “top-down” logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion.
Deductive reasoning (top-down logic) contrasts with inductive reasoning (bottom-up logic) in the following way: In deductive reasoning, a conclusion is reached reductively by applying general rules that hold over the entirety of a closed domain of discourse, narrowing the range under consideration until only the conclusion is left. In inductive reasoning, the conclusion is reached by generalizing or extrapolating from initial information. As a result, induction can be used even in an open domain, one where there is epistemic uncertainty. Note, however, that the inductive reasoning mentioned here is not the same as inductionused in mathematical proofs – mathematical induction is actually a form of deductive reasoning.