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Analysis of Sherlock Holmes’s Method of Reasoning

342 words 2 page(s)

As provided in the video and within the text ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’, Sherlock Holmes’s power of reasoning and logic is critically analyzed. I believe that Sherlock Holmes uses an abductive power of reasoning in order to solve horrific and highly complex and elaborate crimes. It is a convincing style of reasoning as it involves eliminating possible reasons for a crime and any unnecessary facts.

As quoted in the provided text, ‘When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth’. Essentially the end result is the decision to pick an outcome which has resulted from the processes of elimination and extensive logical reasoning. The video also supports this with scenes of Holmes reasoning with Watson about his ‘extraordinary genius for minutiae’. As such, the abductive power of reasoning combines deductive and inductive reasoning.

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When further analyzing Holmes’s reasoning, it can be determined that it is deductive with regards to the use of logic and reason to eliminate possibilities to ascertain a particular fact or truth. It does employ some inductive components focusing on the development of arguments based on Holmes experiences which support the end result and make it appear more valid and honest. The difference between the two is that deduction involves logical reasoning to come to an outcome whilst induction focuses on the use of experiences to develop a clearer idea of what exactly happened.

Holmesian logic can alternatively be applied in the field of mathematics. Many mathematical problems require the ability to deductively rule out answers and theorems in order to determine which theorem is most effective. It is an exact science which corresponds with Holmes’s role as a detective solving crimes.

There are times when I reason like Holmes. I often use deductive reasoning to remember a particular event or job that I require to complete a current project at work. I actively rule out potential experiences in order to determine exactly what happened and to relate it back to my project and work requirements on a day to day basis.