The cumulative force of analogies

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In this paper I will argue that most objections to deductive analyses of a priori analogies are incorrect, often involve basic misinterpretations of what the deductive reconstruction of those arguments are saying, and sometimes also betray a confusion about what part of the reasoning corresponds to the analogical inference. In particular, I will be focusing
on a raft of objections made by Juthe in [2015] and subject his alternative views to criticism.
I will then argue that Juthe does implicitly have a good argument against deductivism: adding further analogues seems to have a cumulative force that they would not have on a deductivist analysis. This is so
not only in ordinary analogical arguments but, perhaps surprisingly, with a priori analogical arguments. I will then argue that this does not favour a sui generis view of the analogical argument over inductivist views, and
attempt to show that a confirmation-theoretic approach to analogical inference makes the best sense of our intuitions about the strength of analogical
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
JournalLogic and Logical Philosophy
VolumeOnline First
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Arguments by analogy
  • Inferential strength
  • Complex analogies
  • Deductivism
  • A priori analogy


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