Argumentation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 83–92

Asymmetrical Analogical Arguments

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

analogy analogical argument asymmetry directionality precedence similarity symmetry 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

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

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