# REASONED FRAMEWORKS

### Reasoning is the strongest framework for scientific communication.

DEFINITION: Reasoning is the process of coming to conclusions using logic (McCall, 1952).

For example, reasoning allows us to make common-sense conclusions during everyday life. If you want to know why the light in your room is off, you might reason

* Wall switches turn lights on and off

* The light is off

* Therefore, the wall switch must be in the "off" position.

You would reasonably toggle the light switch to turn the light on.

Clearly, we use reasoning all the time, and most people are quite good at reasoning (Platt, 1964; Desy, 1976; Ritchhart, 2004). However, many people are not accustomed to using reasoning as a framework to structure abstract thinking and communication (Banilower et al., 2013). Therefore, it may be useful to explore WHY reasoning is the strongest framework available for scientific communication, WHAT the elements of reasoned argument are, and HOW different types of reasoning can effectively construct arguments.

In summary, scientific communication primarily uses reasoned frameworks to create understanding. We construct reasoned "arguments" from a limited number of elements: premises that are mostly facts, connected together with logical transitions, to support conclusions. Reasoned arguments also require strong structures, so that conclusions clearly and logically follow from the available evidence. Scientific communication primarily uses two types of reasoning to structure arguments: deductive reasoning (starting with information that we know or assume to be true, and inferring conclusions), and inductive reasoning (using observations to support a more comprehensive understanding of the truth). Specific frameworks can help to structure each type of reasoning. For example, syllogisms are useful building blocks for deductive reasoning. Later on, we will explore some useful frameworks for inductive arguments. Hierarchical connections and graphical representations are often helpful for organizing both deductive and inductive arguments.

Strong reasoning is NOT easy, and communicating reasoning so that others can understand it is even harder. However, we can simplify the tasks of reasoning and communication by (1) deliberately using only one type of reasoning framework (deductive, inductive) at a time, and (2) making sure that every component of our arguments is a specific and clearly-identifiable element of reasoning (assumption, fact, conclusion, or clarification).