Analogy and Epistemic Values
This chapter provides a defense of analogical reasoning by linking it to standard pragmatic virtues that guide us in the choice of scientific theories. The idea is based on a high‐level analogy between science and the law. In case law, the basic justification for stare decisis (following precedent) is that it promotes consistency and predictability while still permitting the evolution of the legal system. We seek an analogous balance when we turn to plausibility arguments in science. It is argued that analogical arguments that satisfy the general principles of the articulation model strike an excellent balance between conservative epistemic values (such as simplicity and coherence with existing theory) and progressive epistemic values (such as fruitfulness and theoretical unification).
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