, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 83–92

Asymmetrical Analogical Arguments


DOI: 10.1007/s10503-007-9041-3

Cite this article as:
Adler, J.E. Argumentation (2007) 21: 83. doi:10.1007/s10503-007-9041-3


Analogies must be symmetric. If a is like b, then b is like a. So if a has property R, and if R is within the scope of the analogy, then b (probably) has R. However, analogical arguments generally single out, or depend upon, only one of a or b to serve as the basis for the inference. In this respect, analogical arguments are directed by an asymmetry. I defend the importance of this neglected – even when explicitly mentioned – feature in understanding analogical arguments.


analogyanalogical argumentasymmetrydirectionalityprecedencesimilaritysymmetry

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBrooklyn College and the Graduate School, CUNYBrooklynUSA