In this article of Critical Reasoning Explanation, the topics discussed are :

  • Brief of Statement
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion
  • Inference
  • Assumption
  • Difference between implication and assumption

BRIEF OF STATEMENT, INTRODUCTION, CONCLUSION, INFERENCE, ASSUMPTION

What do you mean by a statement?

It is a sentence or statement which has a combination of all the above mentioned part such as introduction, inference, conclusion and one or many course of action.

What is an introduction? 

Statement:  The Government of India today cleared impacting policy decisions across a slew of sectors from multi-brand retail to civil aviation and broadcasting.

Here government of India, policy decisions, slew of sectors, multi-brand retail, civil aviation and broadcasting are several subjects combined together to give a statement. What are we trying to introduce? The government or policy decisions, slew of sectors etc.? The statement is made to show the decision of government in clearing impacted policy decisions. Hence the introduction is not for the government but for the policy decisions.

What is a Conclusion?

The decision making of a statement is called as to be conclusion. For example in our above statement the conclusion is the government has cleared impacting policy decisions.

What is an inference?

The statement which is indirectly stated is called as to be an inference; one may get confused between an inference and assumption. Learning to distinguish inferences from assumptions is an important intellectual skill. Many confuse the two elements. Let us begin with a review of the basic meanings:

Inference: An inference is a step of the mind, an intellectual act by which one concludes that something is true in light of something else’s being true, or seeming to be true. If you come at me with a knife in your hand, I probably would infer that you mean to do me harm. Inferences can be accurate or inaccurate, logical or illogical, justified or unjustified.

An inference is a conclusion you draw based on the evidence and assumptions you have collected (or have not collected). An example “We meet a tall guy and infer that he is good at basketball”. Our assumption is that all tall men are good at playing basketball.   We have met a tall man; therefore he must be good at playing basketball.   If our assumption is correct, then our conclusion is sound.   In this case, our assumption was not correct, so our inference or conclusion cannot be trusted.

What is an assumption?

Assumption: An assumption is something we take for granted or presuppose. Usually it is something we previously learned and do not question. It is part of our system of beliefs. These are beliefs, ideas or concepts that we take as self evident, whether or not they are, indeed, factual.   Assumptions are used to fill in the gaps where our facts and evidence may be thin.

An assumption is a statement for which no proof or evidence is offered. An assumption is something which is assumed, supposed or taken for granted. It is always hidden in the given statement. It is the supposition on the basis of which we may take action. Thus when we go to the railway station to catch a train scheduled at say 3.00 PM, we assume that the train is on time. Naturally when assumptions are wrong, the action taken will be wrong and desired result will not be achieved. Hence in the process of decision making, the understanding of assumption implied (i.e expressed indirectly), in the statement(s) becomes very essential.

Example:

Suppose an exciting one day cricket match is going on. The other team (Pakistan) has piled up a good total and India, in reply, has lost two quick wickets. Now Rohit Sharma comes to bat. You are die-hard fan of Rohit Sharma and despite the odds, you are so excited that you can’t help exclaiming – “Rohit Sharma is a fine batsman, India shall win the match;”….'(1)

How do you correlate two facts? One that “Rohit is a fine batsman” and secondly that “India shall win”. Obviously by assuming that “a fine batsman can help his team win a match”. This is an example of assumption. So the explicit argument could be         –

  1. Rohit Sharma is a fine batsman.
  2. A fine batsman is likely to help his team win the match.
  3. So, India may win the match.

However, when we make the statement (a), the statement (b) is an implicit assumption while making the comment.


Difference between Implication and Assumption

Implication means something which is hidden. Implication means the “hidden meaning” of the statement. The following example will help you to make a distinction between Assumption and Implication.

“I am not going to call off the strike unless the management gives the overtime bonus to each employee which is due since last year” – A trade union leader. Now consider the following three sentences in the light of the above statement

  • Defines overtime bonus as a right of every employee
  • Claims that this right is being violated.
  • Threatens to carry on the strike until the management announces overtime bonus.

Using (1) and (2) we can say that “many employees fail to get overtime bonus”. In (3) he assumes that the “threat of continuation of strike may lead to management in acceptance of his demands.”

To summaries, an assumption is something on which the statement is based while an implication is something   which is derived and therefore based upon the statement.

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