College of Liberal Arts
BA in Philosophy
This paper is an inquiry into the largely unexamined analysis of arguments by analogy (ABA). By exposing the degree of philosophical complexity, which ultimately renders evaluation of ABA subjective, we shall see that the most appropriate doxastic attitude to adopt, with respect to the conclusions drawn from these arguments, is often suspension of judgment. A critical examination of Copi’s criteria for evaluating ABA shows that while these criteria work well for simple arguments, they fail when considering more philosophically profound ABA. This paper supports these claims by using Cleanthes’ teleological argument for the existence of God from Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as a case study.