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The Aesthetics of Argument$
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Martin Warner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737117.001.0001

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From Analogy to Narrative

From Analogy to Narrative

(p.1) 1 From Analogy to Narrative
The Aesthetics of Argument

Martin Warner

Oxford University Press

When we reason by means of parallels the modes of argument and imagination tend to be interdependent. Analogical argument may be either inductive or a priori, while the proportional relation may ground argumentative use of both example and, in the latter case, metaphor. This illuminates a certain Wittgensteinean use of analogy whereby a “picture” from one domain is projected onto another, thereby modifying our understanding of the domain under investigation. Similar considerations apply with respect to narrative, which can be a powerful tool when we attempt to bring theoretical or practical claims to the bar of human experience, hence its prominent role in parable. This opens the way to the relevance of criteria drawn from the study of literature and, more generally, from aesthetics to the assessment of an argument’s dialectical (not only rhetorical) force, and its relevance to our own experience.

Keywords:   analogical argument, literature, metaphor, narrative, parable, Wittgenstein

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