In logic, induction means assuming the truth of a general (or universal) premise from the knowledge that individual or particular instances of the generality conform to the premise. Example: Assuming that all men speak English because all the men you know speak English.
Perfect induction is when the premise is based on the knowledge of all instances. In such cases, the induction is merely the statement of a known totality or generality.
Imperfect induction is when the premise is based on the knowledge of less than all the individual instances, i.e., on a sample. In the sciences of human action, imperfect induction can never provide scientific certainty. At best, it provides only a probability. However, imperfect induction is an epistemological basis of the natural sciences.
- Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-17.