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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 the music of Bartok too The degree of reliability achieved by such an argument depends upon the extent and nature of the similarities that hold between the instances in its premises and the new case in its conclusion Also see DPM Keith J Holyoak and Paul Thagard Allison Barnes and Paul Thagard and Amlie Frost Benedikt Analogical Reasoning The simplest variety of inductive reasoning is argument by analogy which takes note of the fact that two or more things are similar in some respects and concludes that they are probably also similar in some further respect Not every analogy is an argument we frequently use such comparisons simply to explain or illustrate what we mean But arguments by analogy are common too Suppose for example that I am thinking about buying a new car Im very likely to speak with other people who have recently bought new cars noting their experiences with various makes models and dealers If I discover
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