Utilitarianism – Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialist moral theory where the ‘rightness’ of a particular actions lays in the utility provided in the results. In a basic sense, it is the belief that all actions should aim to maximise happiness in the greatest number. There are many flaws to the theory, however, it can help you form decisions in a more logical manner.
Inductive Reasoning – Inductive Reasoning is the process of deriving a general truth from a series of instances. It is upon this form of reasoning whereby scientific hypotheses are validated.
For instance: If a dice always lands on 3 after 1000 trials, we can reason that the dice is likely to be weighted.
Deductive Reasoning – Deductive Reasoning is the process whereby a truth is derived from logical processes such as modus ponens, reductio ad impossibile and modus tollens. Mathematical proofs rely heavily on this form of reasoning.
For instance: If all Jacks are Jills and All Jills are Jaguars, then All Jacks are Jaguars.
Occam’s Razor – The principle whereby if there are several competing explanations, the simplest explanation (the one requiring the fewest assumptions) is usually correct.
For instance: If a vase is broken and there are two possible explanations:
a) A monkey knocked it over chasing a giraffe. b) A child kicked her football and smashed it.
Option b seems more plausible.
Behaviorism – The belief that the behaviour of others allows us to understand their mental states. This might seem like a simple statement, however, its consequences are that by working on changing our behaviour, our mental state is able to alter.
For instance: If I smile, than I’m likely to feel more happy.