The cumulative force of analogies

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Abstract

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
arguments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
JournalLogic and Logical Philosophy
VolumeOnline First
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

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

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