Classifying and Analyzing Analogies

Bruce N. Waller


Analogies come in several forms that serve distinct functions. Inductive analogy is a common type of analogical argument, but critical thinking texts sometimes treat all analogies as inductive. Such an analysis ignores figurative analogies, which may elucidate but do not argue; and also neglects a priori arguments by analogy, a type of analogical argument prominent in law and ethics. A priori arguments by analogy are distinctive, but--contrary to the claims of Govier and Sunstein-they are best understood as deductive, rather than a special form of non deductive reasoning.


analogy, deductive, figurative, inductive, T. Govier, legal realism, C. Sunstein

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ISSN: 0824-2577