6 junio, 2024

Analog argument: what it is, structure and examples

What is an analog argument?

A analog argumentargument by analogy or comparative argument, is a type of inductive argument in which, by extrapolating similar characteristics from one case, it is concluded that the information from another case is similar.

Not all analogies are arguments, however they are usually used to illustrate a belief within a discourse. The analogical argument is built under the premise that all the compared elements have something in common.

This does not mean that it can cover all the elements, but it can establish similarities between some of their properties.

For this reason, analogical arguments are also called comparative arguments, since they use the reasoning of previous or similar situations of relative validity to make comparisons between elements that share one or more characteristics.

This is how all the analogical arguments have the same structure, they speak of the same property or properties of one or more elements.

Its veracity or falsity can be appealed, since its validity is always relative and will depend on the logic of those who establish and evaluate it.

Structure of the analogical argument

The analog arguments have the following structure:

Two or more individuals share the same properties a and b. Most of these individuals also share properties c and d. Therefore, the minority of these individuals must also share properties c and d.

This structure in context can be illustrated as follows:

Juan, Andrés, Pablo and Javier are all designers. Juan, Andrés and Pablo have tattoos all over their bodies. So, since Javier is also a designer, it is likely that he has tattoos all over his body.

Examples of the analogical or comparative argument

1. Andrés built his house without problems, therefore, it is probable that he can build any house without problems.

2. All the women in the family like to live in the city, that’s why my cousin Diana likes to live in the city.

3. I played soccer at school, so at 30 I can play soccer professionally.

4. All my friends liked the movie, so I’m going to like it too.

5. He was a bullfighter of small cows in his adolescence, therefore, in his adulthood he can fight bulls.

6. All Colombians dance salsa. If Juliana is Colombian, she must dance salsa.

7. Bob Marley was an excellent musician, his children must be equally good.

8. I am very good at mathematics, therefore I must be very good at physics.

9. I have helped my mother with the kitchen so many times that now I can cook too.

10. All my friends bought that car and they loved it, so if I buy it, I’ll love it too.

11. If Juan, who knows nothing about music, became a successful singer, I who do know music can also be a successful singer.

12. Ana did not want to have children and now she is an excellent mother. Therefore, Daniela, who does want to have children, will be an excellent mother.

13. Juan helped the architect with the plans for his house, therefore, Juan already knows how to make plans.

14. Andrés likes all the Foo Fighters albums, that means he’s going to like the album they released last week.

15. When I was in school I wrote a short story, so now I can become a writer.

16. All my friends have gotten married at 27, so when I turn 27 I’m getting married too.

17. When I was a child I saw how my father grew flowers, so when I grow up I will be able to grow flowers.

18. Jaime disassembled a mechanical watch, he can disassemble anything.

19. Daniela went to Brazil alone, she can travel anywhere in the world.

20. If Paula and Andrés got a discount when they bargained, if I bargain, they will also give me a discount.

21. If Luis spent 5 minutes on his car and it turned out well, surely if I spend 20 minutes on it, it will look better.

22. Patricia went to the party sleepy and had a good time. Antonia, who is not sleepy, is going to have a better time than Patricia.

23. I saw how my dog’s nails were trimmed, so I can do it too.

24. Since Jaime gave his dog an injection, surely he can also give it to people.

25. If Tatiana, who never studied journalism, can write, I, who am a journalist, can do it much better.

26. Since I sing in the shower, I can sing anywhere.

27. I once drove a car with three other people in it, therefore I will be able to drive a passenger bus.

28. Since she knows how to cook Colombian food, she will have no problem preparing Argentine dishes.

29. He was a teacher of children, so he will do well with adults.

30. I sold lemonade during the summer, for that reason I will be able to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

31. If she went up to Machu Picchu carrying 30 kilos, I can go up without problem because I am not carrying anything.

32. If a German learned Spanish in three months, then a Spaniard can learn German in the same time.

33. If Sara lost 15 kilos in a week at age 30, Elisa, who is younger, should lose the same weight in less time.

34. When I was a child, I watched my father repair the car, so in adulthood I can be a mechanic.

35. Since I made that cake, now I can start my own pastry.

36. I helped the doctor to suture a patient, that’s why I can suture now.

37. If my mom could prepare a dinner for 20 people in one hour, I can prepare one for 40 people in two hours.

38. Hugo helped his father to pack the suitcase, therefore, Hugo already knows everything that is needed to travel.

39. If Andrea, who has no work experience, was able to find work in Buenos Aires, Mariana, who has been working for 10 years, will also find work.

40. I saw how they gave the baby a bottle, so I can now give him a bottle.

Themes of interest

Probabilistic argument.

inductive argument.

deductive argument.

conductive argument.

Argument from authority.

abductive argument.

References

Kemerling, G. (2011). Analogy. Retrieved from philosophypages.com
Lau, J., & Chan, J. (2017). Analogical Arguments. Retrieved from philosophy.hku.hk.
Philosophy, SE (2013). Analogy and Analogical Reasoning. Retrieved from plato.stanford.edu.

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