INFERENCES IN CRITICAL THINKING (Part 1)
What keeps many Black students from being able to untangle concepts of Philosophical Thought is confusion about the definition of a keystone word; or not realizing that same word is used differently in African Tradition and by Europeans. To clearly understand the ways and ideas of Inferences provides insight into all forms of Critical Thinking (CT). To elaborate, in daily living everybody makes ‘guesstimates’ about things based upon ‘hunches’ or a shot in the dark’ or a ‘sneaking’ suspicion’. In other words, one assesses where one is presently and, through a process of reasoning from what seems most likely, one arrives at a ‘guesstimate’ conclusion. More often than not the ‘guesstimates’ are rash, foolish, false, unjustified, or shallow inferences. However, when scientists and philosophers use this same process, it is called a “Deduction” if there is a sense of responsibility attached to their conclusion; or “Inference” if the situation is of a lighter nature. When Ancient Africans made inferences or Deductions they first established a Circumstantial Truth and used it, or the process of deriving it, to propose another. For example, by African Priest-Astronomers establishing Circumstantial Truths about the Stars and Planets, they connected the bits and pieces about them into patterns. Then they realized those patterns they saw in the sky were also present on Earth. From those observations, Inferences could be made to go beyond the evidence given or known to deduce a conclusion. This came from manipulating/maneuvering links between Cause/Effect as well as the Known/Unknown so that those links could help predict Consequences. Deduction is the use of Inference Reasoning to go from the General to the Particular–e.g. about how humans should live according to the Math determined Laws of Nature: ‘My deduction is that since all men die and I am a man I will die.’
Induction Reasoning goes from the Particular to the General (e.g. about the Laws of Nature to which humans are a part)–i.e. from the known to the unknown. Instead of simply being curious about the Particular things they saw in daily life, rather than letting it go–as is typical of Ordinary Thinkers–Ancient Africans connected the relationships of aspects of each into wholistic patterns. Then they realized those patterns seen on Earth were also present in the sky. Again, knowing those links helped them predict Effects/Consequences. In other words, “Induction” concerns arriving at a general principle on the basis of probabilities suggested by experiment with, and observation of, a number of individual cases. Perhaps as early as 20,000 BC Africans called inferring by Deduction and Induction the Law of Correspondence–so above, so below; so below, so above. Examples: when you look, you must see; when you nibble, you must taste. That Law enables CT to make “What it is,” “what it does,” and “how it appears” inferences concerning probabilities in its Unseen state. Then further investigation is done so that each of them can be proven by their manifestations in the Seen world to establish Circumstantial Truths. Such occurs because, despite all the variations in the Cosmic Organism, they show interdependence to produce Beings with only a few principles in operation.
These concepts, borrowed from Africans under the medieval Latin term, referring to “deduce,” were removed from the African sense of Circumstantial Truths to thereby introduce Secular doubts. The idea–distinct from the use of “Imply”–was that something in the speaker’s words enables the listener to “deduce” what is meant. “Imply” expresses the notion that something in the speaker’s words “suggests” a certain meaning. “Imply” involves a necessary circumstance, as a deed implies a doer. The C16 English word “Infer” (find out by reasoning, conclude) means ‘to bring forward’; ‘bring into a conclusion drawn from facts or statements.’ “Deduce” (used in scientific and philosophic matters) and “Infer” both mean to come to a conclusion after a process of reasoning from premises or evidence. “Deduction” is applying a general statement or assumption, whether true or false, to a particular case. An “Inference” (‘to bear in’; bringing-in, a reasoned conclusion) connotes selective judgment or opinion–also based upon a reasoning drawn from evidence or premises. Either may range from a mere Guess to Truth, depending upon the creditability of those making the inferences and the nature of their evidence. Its process of Inference–called Syllogistic or Cartesian Logic in a European sense, not African–forms doubtful conclusions and not trustworthy. jabaileymd.com