analogy

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analogy Similarity in several respects between discrete cases. A logical argument by analogy relies upon an inductive inference from the supposition that things are similar is certain known respects to the likelihood that they are also similar in some further unknown respect. Example: "Jennifer enjoys listening to the music of Beethoven, Mahler, and Bartok. Susan and Harold also like Beethoven, Mahler, and Bartok. Chris enjoys listening to Beethoven and Mahler. Therefore, Chris would probably like …

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showed last 75 words of 1269 total
…it is a piece of reasoning whose conclusion must be true. The trouble with every other case, in which either one of the premises is false or the inference is invalid or both, is that it gets us nowhere. The conclusions of such arguments may be either true or false, so they are entirely useless in any effort to gain new information. ©1997, 1998, 1999 Garth Kemerling. Questions, comments, and suggestions may be sent to: gkemerling@delphi.com