Appeal to Analogy

Argumentative strategies that appeal to analogies have often confounded me as a bad argument, or a non-sequitur point. However, assuming that the degree of applicability is apt (of being an analogy), we may find that the appeal to analogy is an appeal to conceivability. Consider:

This would seem poorly valid an inference

1. a is similar to (but not equivalent to) b
2. b is true



Perhaps a more charitable look:

1. a is like b
1′. The ‘like’ relation is sufficient to infer the conceivability of one claim to its likeness by virtue of the ‘like’ relata
2. b is true


a is conceivable

An appeal is not really an argument in a strict sense, but it does try to make us think favourably of it. I suppose that is definitive of an ‘appeal’.



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