Sherlock Holmes. The World’s Only Consulting Detective. A man like no other.
For over 125 years, Sherlock holmes has been at the heart of Detective literature. He’s entertained readers, and engaged audiences since his beginning. In the last 4 years, 2 films and one British Mini-series have been created, as well a American take on the channel.
But how can this one character draw the hearts and minds of so many? His greatest attraction came from his systematic ability to study a situation and gather the facts.
The Consulting Detective’s Technique: How Holmes “Deductively reasons” through everything
Holmes relies on what is called “Deductive reasoning” (Though most philosophers do note that the proper term for their method is “inductive”) But that does not change the value of the reason). This method of reasoning notices that there are X, Y and Z at the crime scene. Using these facts, one determines and analyzes what behavior and patterns could have led to the situation presented. This reliance on information is terribly important, for it presents the case and point for all forensic cases.
But what process does this technique of analysis take?
- See Everything: Holmes once noted that “I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.” The basis for any analysis is the evidence. But in order to use evidence, one must be able to see the evidence. So, it’s important that a seeker of Truth learn to notice everything; whether it be a small miniscule detail, or a humongous void. Either will provide you a case to investigate. However, it’s hard to predict whether something will matter or be irrelevant. Thus, one must notice everything at the start, and work down.
- context, Context, context: “That’s a big thing.” That phrase is pretty vague in explaining itself. If we said that randomly, no one would no what the “Thing” actually was. That’s why context is key to every seeker. If you don’t know the context of the evidence you found, how can it be useful? After all, Context is just another form of evidence.
- Dismiss Nothing: Holmes himself always said that “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” That’s why we do need to build a case before moving forward. But once you have that data, the very next step is to weigh the potential theories and see which one explains all of the evidence. As Holmes himself famously said; “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.