False Analogy


    In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P.
  1. Employees are like nails. Just as nails must be hit in the head in order to make them work, so must employees.
  2. Government is like business, so just as business must be sensitive primarily to the bottom line, so also must government. (But the objectives of government and business are completely different, so probably they will have to meet different criteria.)
    Identify the two objects or events being compared and the property which both are said to possess. Show that the two objects are different in a way which will affect whether they both have that property.
    Barker: 192, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 257, Davis: 84
26 May 1995