Journal Article

Analogy Counterarguments and the Acceptability of Analogical Hypotheses

Cameron Shelley

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 53, issue 4, pages 477-496
Published in print December 2002 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/53.4.477
Analogy Counterarguments and the Acceptability of Analogical Hypotheses

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The logical empiricists held that an analogical hypothesis does not gain any acceptability from the analogy on which it is founded. On this view, the acceptability of a hypothesis cannot be discounted by criticizing the foundational analogy. Yet scientists commonly appear to level exactly this sort of criticism. If scientists are able to discount the acceptability of analogical hypotheses in this way, then the logical empiricist view is mistaken. I analyze four forms of analogy counterargument, disanalogy, misanalogy, counteranalogy, and false analogy, with examples from the debate over the asteroid impact hypothesis. These counterarguments do address the acceptability of analogical hypotheses, indicating that analogies can confer acceptability, confirmation notwithstanding.

1 Introduction

2 The asteroid impact hypothesis

3 Analogy counterarguments

3.1 Disanalogy

3.2 Misanalogy

3.3 Counteranalogy

3.4 False analogy

4 Acceptability

5 Conclusions

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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