Analogy

CSLI Informal Notes Series IN-CSLI-85-4, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford, November 1985

82 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2013 Last revised: 11 Mar 2013

See all articles by Todd Davies

Todd Davies

Stanford University - Symbolic Systems Program; Center for the Study of Language and Information

Date Written: November 11, 1985

Abstract

This thesis constructs a theory of analogy as it applies to argumentation and reasoning, especially as used in fields such as philosophy and law. The word "analogy" has been used in different senses, which the essay defines. The theory developed herein applies to "analogia rationis," or analogical reasoning. Building on the framework of situation theory, a type of logical relation called "determination" is defined. This determination relation solves a puzzle about analogy in the context of logical argument, namely, whether an analogous situation contributes anything logically over and above what could be inferred from the application of prior knowledge to a present situation. Scholars of reasoning have often claimed that analogical arguments are never logically valid, and that they therefore lack cogency. However, when the right type of determination structure exists, it is possible to prove that projecting a conclusion inferred by analogy onto the situation about which one is reasoning is both valid and non-redundant. Various other properties and consequences of the determination relation are also proven. Some analogical arguments are based on principles such as similarity, which are not logically valid. The theory therefore provides us with a way to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate arguments. It also provides an alternative to procedures based on the assessment of similarity for constructing analogies in artificial intelligence systems.

Keywords: analogical reasoning, analogy, validity, determination

Suggested Citation

Davies, Todd R., Analogy (November 11, 1985). CSLI Informal Notes Series IN-CSLI-85-4, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford, November 1985. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2214214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2214214

Todd R. Davies (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Symbolic Systems Program ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-2150
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~davies

Center for the Study of Language and Information ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-4115
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
36
Abstract Views
398
PlumX Metrics