Comparing the Incomparable: Figurative Analogies in a Dialectical Testing Procedure

  • Bart Garssen
Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 14)

The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that punishment is, scientifically speaking, out of date. He points out that it makes no sense to punish a car when it refuses to start and that it is equally irrational to punish criminals, because in their case something is broken as well: they come from poor families, received poor education or have poor genes. In comparing criminals to broken inanimate objects Dawkins uses argumentation that is based on an analogy. In most approaches to argument schemes this type of argumentation is considered to be a special type of reasoning by analogy or comparison argumentation, often called figurative analogy because of the abstract nature of the comparison.


Figurative Analogy Argument Scheme Camera Surveillance Probative Force Strategic Manoeuvring 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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  • Bart Garssen

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