Joseph Agassi

Analogies have been traditionally recognized as a proper part of inductive procedures, akin to generalizations. Seldom, however, have they been presented as superior to generalizations, in the attainability of a higher degree of certitude for their conclusions or in other respects. Though Bacon de6nitely preferred analogy to generalization~, the tradition seems to me to go the other way — until the recent publication of works by Mary B. Hesse {[2], pp. 21-28 and passim) and, perhaps, R. Harre {[lj, pp. 23-28 and passim). The aim of the present note is to argue the following two points. First, generalizations proper are preferable to predictions from past observations to a single future observation, since the latter are std hoc. Second, analogies are either generalizations proper — perhaps higher-level ones — or ad hoc. In any case, they are not more certain than generalizations, but they are still equally legitimate
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