Some, however, reject this characterization of Darwin’s reasoning (Richards 1997; Gildenhuys 2004).Sometimes analogical reasoning is the only available form of justification for a hypothesis.Related topics include metaphor, models in science, and precedent and analogy in legal reasoning. They have been employed, in a wide variety of settings and with considerable success, to generate insight and to formulate possible solutions to problems.
Analogical reasoning may have similar significance for cosmological phenomena that are inaccessible due to limits on observation (Dardashti et al. Indeed, the two functions are blended in what we might call the completely analogous to the acoustical situation, with atoms (and/or molecules) serving as oscillators originating or absorbing the vibrations in the manner of resonant tuning forks.
(Maier 1981: 51) Guided by this analogy, physicists looked for groups of spectral lines that exhibited frequency patterns characteristic of a harmonic oscillator.
is a way of showing how two apparently unlike things are actually similar.
One of the most famous modern analogies was spoken by Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates.
The method of the nonobservable behaviour of the ancient inhabitants of an archaeological site (or ancient culture) based on the similarity of their artifacts to those used by living peoples.
(Hunter and Whitten 1976: 147) ), Shelley (1999, 2003) describes how ethnographic analogy was used to determine the probable significance of odd markings on the necks of Moche clay pots found in the Peruvian Andes.At the other extreme, an analogical argument may provide very weak support for its conclusion, establishing no more than minimal plausibility.Consider () Thomas Reid’s (1785) argument for the existence of life on other planets (Stebbing 1933; Mill 1843/1930; Robinson 1930; Copi 1961).For instance ( Why may I not invent the hypothesis of Natural Selection (which from the analogy of domestic productions, and from what we know of the struggle of existence and of the variability of organic beings, is, in some very slight degree, in itself probable) and try whether this hypothesis of Natural Selection does not explain (as I think it does) a large number of facts….( Here it appears, by Darwin’s own admission, that his analogy is employed to show that the hypothesis is probable to some “slight degree” and thus merits further investigation.Reid notes a number of similarities between Earth and the other planets in our solar system: all orbit and are illuminated by the sun; several have moons; all revolve on an axis.In consequence, he concludes, it is “not unreasonable to think, that those planets may, like our earth, be the habitation of various orders of living creatures” (1785: 24). Often the point of an analogical argument is just to persuade people to take an idea seriously.By comparing something difficult to something ordinary and familiar, you can help your reader understand.It is an One of the keys to a paper like this is creativity and insight. The intended degree of support for the conclusion can vary considerably.At one extreme, these arguments can be strongly predictive.