Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2016: Professional Matters

Doctors on film

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 12 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6172

Sherlockian Reasoning

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a tour de force of backward writing, in which Doyle writes from the end to the beginning. Thus Doyle creates masterful mysteries that contrast Dr. Watson's plodding, deductive, a priori, forward reasoning from cause to effect, with Sherlock Holmes' incisive, inductive, a posteriori, reverse reasoning from effect to cause. Needless to say, none of this is elementary. 

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 December 2016
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA