3.1b
Argument from Analogy

This exercise is a bit of field work. But it's all done through the web. Poke around and see what you can find.

1. Get clear on what an argument from analogy IS. We've seen two examples so far. But we need to be able to say more about what makes these arguments good or bad. To work on this, look at the web sites listed in the tutorial starting with this one:

You'll need to know a bit about this for the second posting and for the mid-term exam!

2. Find some interesting examples of argument from analogy in your life, in your imagination, or just check the Web. Here's what I came upon...A quick goggle of "argument by analogy" gives you lots of examples. Here's the first paragraph of a listing that caught my eye:

The classic statement of the teleological argument is that of William Paley in his Natural Theology. Paley likened the universe to a watch. Like a watch, he said, the universe consists of many complex parts functioning in harmony to some useful end. In a watch the various parts are ordered such that they measure time; in the universe, such that they support life. The two are, in this respect, similar. This comparison forms the basis of Paley’s argument for intelligent design. (http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/analogy.html)

You'll note that this is a 19th century intelligent design argument by analogy. Paley was mostly concerned with the complexity of parts of the universe that were biological.  Charles Darwin was well aware of William Paley; of course Darwin thought that there was an important disanalogy between watch and complex biological parts. What is Darwin's concern? How should we sort it out?

Posting 1 : Post an interesting, or just any argument by analogy. Optional but useful: You may want to say a bit about what you think about it. Or you might want to simplify it a bit and put it up an Araucaria in a form a little like that of the chocolate argument.

Posting 2 : Post commentary on others work. If you'd like, you can include me in this group of others, and respond to the questions I've just asked about Paley and Darwin. Or, better, respond to someone else.