Saturday, September 14, 2013

Distinguishing Between Analogy and Categorical Deduction

We will use the following terms:

'Good', 'Bad'
'Cat', 'Dog'

An analogy would say that:

Good : Bad :: Cat : Dog

The conclusion would be that dogs are bad, and cats are good.

Simple enough.

An analogy would not draw the comparison as follows:

Good : Dog :: Bad : Cat

Because, according to analogies we could only conclude that we are relating two distinct things, a bad cat and a good dog. Or, so goes the reasoning, we could equally compare a bad dog and a good cat.

Suffice to say, in conventional reasoning (that is, conventional analogy), this type of comparison is considered meaningless. It is considered to be relative, or ambiguous. It is a form of amphiboly.

Consider for stark comparison what happens when, instead of analogy, a categorical deduction is implied in the system.

First, we set up four quadrants, in which opposites are held in diagonal locations.

A. Good. B. Dog. C. Bad. D. Cat

The conclusion is that A. A good dog implies a bad cat, or B. A bad dog implies a good cat.

If cat and dog are indeed opposites, then this holds to be true.

And if they are not opposites, then it could only be a rough analogy. In this way it proves what an analogy cannot prove. Furthermore, it establishes complex conditions which an analogy could not establish.

Consider that 'bad' and 'good' (just like 'cat' and 'dog') are really some of the simplest opposites to choose. In other cases the comparisons are more meaningful. In fact, there is even room for imagination, so long as the oppositeness cannot be disproven.

So it may be that geniuses in the large part of recent history have conducted a major mistake, the Folly of Amphiboly, by assuming that nothing could be drawn from comparisons of opposites, except so-called one-to-one-correlations. In the last several months, I have detected people attempting to re-define the meaning of one-to-one. And I think the simple explanation is that there is a new device, with a new standard of definitions. And it's name is the categorical deduction.

Cite my blog. Or better, buy my book and read the source material, if the above material appeals to your intellect. I hope it's infectious.

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