Taking Analogical Inference Seriously: Darwin's Argument from Artificial Selection

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:502 - 513 (1986)
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Abstract

Although historians have carefully examined exactly what role the analogy between artificial and natural selection might have played in Charles Darwin's discovery of natural selection, philosophers have not devoted much attention to the way Darwin employed the analogy to justify his theory. I suggest that philosophers tend to belittle the role that analogies play in the justification of scientific theories because they don't understand the special nature of analogical inference. I present a novel account of analogical argument developed by Julian Weitzenfeld and then use it to carry out an in-depth analysis of Darwin's argument from artificial selection.

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C. Kenneth Waters
University of Calgary

Citations of this work

Selección artificial, selección sexual, selección natural.Santiago Ginnobili - 2011 - Metatheoria – Revista de Filosofía E Historia de la Ciencia 2 (1):61-78.
Darwin's Analogy Between Artificial and Natural Selection: How Does It Go?Susan G. Sterrett - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (1):151-168.
Darwin’s Analogy Between Artificial and Natural Selection: How Does It Go?Susan G. Sterrett - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (1):151-168.
On the Causal Efficacy of Natural Selection: A Response to Richards’ Critique of the Standard Interpretation.Andrea Sullivan-Clarke - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4b):745-755.

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