What are inductive arguments?
Inductive arguments claim that the truth of the premises provide grounds for the likelihood or probability of the truth of the conclusion.
Although a great deal of attention is focused on deductive arguments, much reasoning cannot be presented as making the strong claim of deductive necessity. When an argument claims to provide some grounds for the truth of the conclusion but not to necessitate that conclusion, it is considered an inductive argument.
Inductive logic is concerned with techniques for the appraisal of inductive arguments.
Inductive arguments are not usually said to be "valid" or "invalid," but according to the degree of support which the premises do provide for the conclusion, they may be said to be "strong" or "weak" over a spectrum of varying degrees of likelihood. Although many have attempted to formulate a theory of "inductive probability" whereby one could determine how probable is the truth of a conclusion given certain premises, such attempts in general have met with little success, and require highly specified circumstances. For the most part, inductive logic provides only rather loose and informal guidelines for assessing the relative strength or weakness of one inductive argument over others.