a1 Tennessee State University
a2 New York State University
The nature of analogies, and their legitimacy in argumentation and inference, is a disputed subject. This essay is intended to shed some light on the tangle of issues that it involves. After discussing in section one the different functions of analogy, in particular in explanation and in science, we present in section two a prima facie defense of analogical argument against those who repudiate it entirely and in section three an account of its logical structure. Section four argues that analogical inference does not collapse, as some of its critics contend, into standard induction, and section five attempts to explicate more precisely the warrant for analogical inference. We conclude in section six by suggesting a typology for arguments from analogy.