Case-to-Case Arguments

Argumentation 32 (3):431-455 (2018)
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Abstract

Arguers sometimes cite a decision made in an earlier situation as a reason for making the equivalent decision in a later situation. I argue that there are two kinds of “case-to-case arguments”. First, there are arguments by precedent, which cite the mere existence of the past decision as a reason to decide in the same way again now, independent of the past decision’s merits. Second, there are case-to-case arguments from parralel reasoning which presuppose that the past decision was justified and are used to show that an equivalent present decision would also be justified. Both arguments are a type of argument by analogy. They differ in their structures and conditions of cogency, even though they often look the same in presentation. Their similar appearance poses a risk of miss-evaluation and fallacious use. Therefore a clearly theorized distinction is important.

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Katharina Stevens
University of Lethbridge

Citations of this work

­A defense of analogy inference as sui generis.André Lars Joen Juthe - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
Towards a general practice of precedent.Sebastian Lewis - 2022 - Jurisprudence 14 (2):202-220.
Trump, Snakes and the Power of Fables.Katharina Stevens - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (1):53-83.

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The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation.Chaïm Perelman & Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca - 1969 - Notre Dame, IN, USA: Notre Dame University Press. Edited by Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca.
A practical study of argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co..

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