Govier’s Distinguishing A Priori from Inductive Arguments by Analogy: Implications for a General Theory of Ground Adequacy

James B. Freeman


In a priori analogies, the analogue is constructed in imagination, sharing certain properties with the primary subject. The analogue has some further property clearly consequent on those shared properties. Ceteris paribus the primary subject has that property also. The warrant involves non-empirical, e.g., moral intuition but is also defeasible. The argument is thus neither deductive nor inductive, but an additional type. In an inductive analogy, the analogues back the warrant from below. Distinguishing these two types of arguments by analogy gives epistemic evaluative factors primacy over resemblance factors in classifying arguments—a prescient insight on Govier’s part.

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ISSN: 0824-2577