Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

A Significant Post By Skeptico

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 10, 2009

This post by Skeptico, about arguments by analogy, changed the way that I think about the world. Probably no blog post has affected me as much as this seemingly mundane one. It made me realize that an argument from analogy is really not a credible argument, and should not be relied upon.

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2 Responses to “A Significant Post By Skeptico”

  1. Phynnboi said

    It’s credible if the similarities are relevant and the differences are irrelevant. However, there are two big problems with it.

    The first problem is, everyone seems to think they can defeat such an argument by pointing out any difference at all between the two things, no matter how irrelevant it is. Well, yeah, the two things aren’t exactly the same; that’s why it’s called an analogy and not an equivalence. Duh!

    Second, a lot of people seem to use it not because what they’re arguing is difficult to understand, but because they want to vastly overstate the importance of what they’re arguing. For instance, I was once in an argument where a bunch of people were honestly and with straight faces analogizing casual software piracy to physical, sexual rape.

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