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By Parallel ReasoningThe Construction and Evaluation of Analogical Arguments$
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Paul Bartha

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195325539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325539.001.0001

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Analogy and Epistemic Values

Analogy and Epistemic Values

(p.239) 7 Analogy and Epistemic Values
By Parallel Reasoning

Paul F. A. Bartha (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a defense of analogical reasoning by linking it to standard pragmatic virtues that guide us in the choice of scientific theories. The idea is based on a high‐level analogy between science and the law. In case law, the basic justification for stare decisis (following precedent) is that it promotes consistency and predictability while still permitting the evolution of the legal system. We seek an analogous balance when we turn to plausibility arguments in science. It is argued that analogical arguments that satisfy the general principles of the articulation model strike an excellent balance between conservative epistemic values (such as simplicity and coherence with existing theory) and progressive epistemic values (such as fruitfulness and theoretical unification).

Keywords:   pragmatic virtues, legal reasoning, stare decisis, simplicity, coherence, fruitfulness, unification

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