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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 Symmetry

Analogy and Symmetry

(p.265) 8 Analogy and Symmetry
By Parallel Reasoning

Paul F. A. Bartha (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter has two purposes. First, it explores the connection between analogical reasoning and symmetry to provide a second justification for the argument form, independent of the one offered in chapter 7. The chapter proposes that good analogical arguments are sanctioned by norms of symmetry and Reflection, as expounded by van Fraassen. This idea is elaborated first in a nonprobabilistic setting and then in a probabilistic framework. It is argued that a psychological construal of the relationship between symmetry and probability, as championed by de Finetti and others, is inadequate. The second objective of the chapter is to integrate analogical arguments into a Bayesian model of theoretical confirmation by refining Salmon's idea that analogical arguments contribute to establishing non‐negligible prior probability for hypotheses.

Keywords:   Bayesianism, confirmation, de Finetti, prior probability, Reflection, Salmon, symmetry, van Fraassen

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