Paul Bartha By Parallel Reasoning

ISBN 13: 9780195325539

By Parallel Reasoning

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By Parallel Reasoning is the first comprehensive philosophical examination of analogical reasoning in more than forty years designed to formulate and justify standards for the critical evaluation of analogical arguments. It proposes a normative theory with special focus on the use of analogies in mathematics and science.

In recent decades, research on analogy has been dominated by computational theories whose objective has been to model analogical reasoning as a psychological process. These theories have devoted little attention to normative questions. In this book Bartha proposes that a good analogical argument must articulate a clear relationship that is capable of generalization. This idea leads to a set of distinct models for the critical analysis of prominent forms of analogical argument. The same core principle makes it possible to relate analogical reasoning to norms and values of scientific practice. Reasoning by analogy is justified because it strikes an optimal balance between conservative values, such as simplicity and coherence, and progressive values, such as fruitfulness and theoretical unification. Analogical arguments are also justified by appeal to symmetry--like cases are to be treated alike.

In elaborating the connection between analogy and these broad epistemic principles, By Parallel Reasoning offers a novel contribution to explaining how analogies can play an important role in the confirmation of scientific hypotheses

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About the Author:


Paul F.A. Bartha is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia

Review:


"This is the most important book in decades to deal with the pragmatic basis for reasoning by analogy. Bartha s theoretical analysis is woven together with a wealth of actual examples of reasoning by analogy in fields as diverse as mathematics, astronomy, archeology, and the law. His book is a must read for scholars and researchers with a serious interest in the role of analogy in human reasoning."--Keith Holyoak, Department of Psychology, UCLA


"Broad scope and deep and nuanced discussions... Bartha's analyses offer a wealth of penetrating insights into analogical arguments and his articulation model is the most comprehensive attempt at a normative theory of analogical reasoning to date. It is a truly impressive achievement, opening up a promising new perspective for the future study of analogical arguments in both philosophy and cognitive science." --Metascience


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