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1. any process of reasoning from premises to a conclusion
2. Logic the specific mode of reasoning used



the mental activity that makes a connection between disparate thoughts, linking them in a set of premises and conclusions. It is by inference that the norms and categories of such connections, which are inherently present in the social or individual consciousness, are expressed on the level of “inner speech.” Indeed, these norms and categories themselves—in any given instance—constitute the psychological basis of inference; when they coincide with the rules and laws of logic, the inference is judged by its result to be equivalent to logical deduction, although generally speaking there is a qualitative difference between logical deduction and inference.

Logical deduction, as distinct from inference, rests on “external means”; it operates through the verbal (symbolic) recording of thoughts or through their formalization—that is, the codification of thoughts and representation of their connections by one or another formal language or system, such as calculus—with the goal of reducing to a minimum the subconscious, enthymematic, and elliptical elements of deduction and translating abstract or “convoluted” thought processes into the language of “images.” Furthermore, the “legitimacy” of inference need not necessarily be determined by logical norms. For example, an incomplete induction is precisely an inference and not a logical deduction, inasmuch as the connection between premises and conclusions in induction has a factual and psychological basis (as expressed in the well-known norms of generalization) but lacks a logical basis—that is, lacks those formal rules by which thinking proceeds from the particular to the general.

A further distinction is drawn between inference and reasoning: the latter is always a consciously willed mental activity, while an inference, in principle at least, can be both involuntary and an act of the subconscious.



The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.

See also symbolic inference, type inference.
References in periodicals archive ?
It involves acknowledging the likelihood that comes with the uncertainty of inference (Burrill & Biehler, 2011).
In this paper, we propose a novel trust inference model named BPTrust (Balance and Probability based Trust model) based on social psychological theory-Balance theory [9], and probability theory.
In the inference condition, the target words were presented immediately after the sentences that were predicted to prompt the inferences.
For instance, proposition "I want to stay dry" makes explicit the attribution of a preference to an agent, implicitly attributed through a material inference such "Only remaining in the car will keep me dry, so I shall remain in the car", the transition from the premise to the conclusion of which it licenses.
Inference, the company's core solution, has been used in some of the most challenging civil and criminal litigation cases, helping the finding of key documents for cost-effective consideration, DOAR said in a press release.
DOAR will continue to build upon Inference Data's electronic discovery platform by enhancing its analytics-driven assessment and review technology, which is specifically designed to streamline document review and reduce the costs associated with the management, review and production of electronic discovery.
Several of the federal circuits have held that only a showing of negligence is required for an adverse inference instruction against the party responsible for the missing evidence.
Inference Tags--These are small interactive tags that appear at the end of your cursor, which locate axis, points, lines, and surfaces.
Despite the richness of the literature on inferences, the relationship between sex/gender and backward inference generation is still open to question.
In other words, to say that evidence is irrelevant is to say that one can draw no reasonable inference from it.
The null-hypothesis significance test based only on a p value can be a misleading approach to making an inference about the true (population or large-sample) value of an effect statistic.