Before reading this book, I did not know that analogies fail typically as a tool of persuasion.
I mean, for years, analogies were my go-to discussion tool.
But did you realize that even making an argument from analogy can be considered invalid?
Maybe argument by analogy is not invalid in normal discussion.
But try it in a graduate philosophy class and I bet someone calls you out on it.
This is because an analogy is a form of induction.
And induction can only ever be “likely true.”
Remember that whole black swan thing about the limits of observation?
Deduction, however, is “always true” if the logic and premises are true.
As I explained, the first reason analogies fail at persuasion is that they are not designed for that job. Analogies are not logic. They are just a quick way to explain a new concept.
The second reason analogies fail is because they are imprecise by definition. That gives people on the other side of a debate all kinds of ammunition. And no one changes their mind when they have that much ammunition for a defense. As it turns out, all of the ammunition provided by bad analogies is in the form of blanks, because analogies are not persuasive, and neither are the criticisms of analogies. If you are arguing about the details of an analogy, you are not persuading, and you are not being persuaded. You are just wasting time.
-Scott Adams, Win Bigly