Author Information

Marcello GuariniFollow

Location

University of Windsor

Document Type

Paper

Keywords

analogy, two-wise similarity, three-wise similarity, n-wise similarity, deductive reconstruction, non-deductive reconstruction

Start Date

18-5-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

21-5-2016 5:00 PM

Abstract

This paper will add to the discourse on analogical arguments by showing that they need not be deductively reconstructed in common contexts of persuasion. Analogical arguments have varying degrees of similarity, which helps us to understand their varying degrees of strength. Pace Shecaira (2013) it will be argued that this is a common and useful way of examining analogical arguments. It will be shown that deductive reconstruction does not adequately capture the needed degrees of strength.

Let us start with two-wise similarity claims. Subject S1 says that the disputed case C1 is (relevantly) similar to C2 and should be treated as x, just as C2 is. S2 says that C1 is (relevantly) similar to C3 and should be treated as y, just as C3 is. S1 may counter with a three-wise similarity claim: C1 is more similar to C2 than it is to C3, because…, so C1 should be treated as x. Think of lawyers in court. It will be shown that the evaluation of analogical arguments in these contexts turns in a central way on similarity, and that deductive reconstructions get in the way of a proper understanding of the preceding.

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 21st, 5:00 PM

Two-wise and Three-wise Similarity, and Non-deductive Analogical Arguments

University of Windsor

This paper will add to the discourse on analogical arguments by showing that they need not be deductively reconstructed in common contexts of persuasion. Analogical arguments have varying degrees of similarity, which helps us to understand their varying degrees of strength. Pace Shecaira (2013) it will be argued that this is a common and useful way of examining analogical arguments. It will be shown that deductive reconstruction does not adequately capture the needed degrees of strength.

Let us start with two-wise similarity claims. Subject S1 says that the disputed case C1 is (relevantly) similar to C2 and should be treated as x, just as C2 is. S2 says that C1 is (relevantly) similar to C3 and should be treated as y, just as C3 is. S1 may counter with a three-wise similarity claim: C1 is more similar to C2 than it is to C3, because…, so C1 should be treated as x. Think of lawyers in court. It will be shown that the evaluation of analogical arguments in these contexts turns in a central way on similarity, and that deductive reconstructions get in the way of a proper understanding of the preceding.