Advertisement

Argument by Analogy in Ancient China

Article
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

Argument by analogy has long been regarded as the characteristic way of arguing in ancient Chinese culture. Classic Chinese philosophers not only prefer to use analogy to argue for their own views, but also take efforts to theorize it in a systematic way. This paper aims to provide a careful study on the relevant ideas in ancient China in order to reconstruct the ancient Chinese theory of argument by analogy, and then to reveal some of its distinctive features through a comparison with the Western counterpart account as developed by Aristotle. It is indicated that in ancient China analogical argument was conceived primarily as a way of arguing based on classification, with a unique mechanism of taking and giving according to kind. On that basis, it is argued that although such a characterization captures the logical structure of analogical argument in a similar way to Aristotle, the ancient Chinese theory stresses the foundational role of a particular notion of kind, thus makes the construction and application of analogical arguments become highly flexible and context-sensitive. Moreover, it is also contended that in ancient China the rationale of analogical arguments is explained from a general perspective of kind, relying upon the universal knowledge pertaining to the forming of kinds. Then it is further revealed that, unlike Aristotle who emphasizes the causal links between attributes in the physical world, ancient Chinese thinkers justify analogical argument by appealing to some normative metaphysical and epistemological principles.

Keywords

Argument by analogy Ancient China Kind Aristotle The notion of Li 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable criticisms, which are very helpful for me to improve this paper. The work in this paper is supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (18ZDA033), and the Guizhou Guoxue Project for Philosophy and Social Sciences (17GZGX23).

References

  1. Achinstein, P. 1964. Models, analogies and theories. Philosophy of Science 31: 328–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aristotle. (1984). The complete works of Aristotle. In J. Barnes (ed.), Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ashley, K.D. 1990. Modeling legal argument: Reasoning with cases and hypotheticals. Cambridge: MIT Press/Bradford Books.Google Scholar
  4. Bartha, P. 2010. By parallel reasoning: The construction and evaluation of analogical arguments. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, L. 1973. Analogy in legal reasoning. Ethics 83(3): 248–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becker, C.B. 1986. Reasons for the lack of argumentation and debate in the Far East. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 10(1): 75–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bermejo-Luque, L. 2012. A unitary schema for arguments by analogy. Informal Logic 32(1): 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, W.R. 1989. Two traditions of analogy. Informal Logic 11(3): 161–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Copi, I.M. 1961. Introduction to logic. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  10. Copi, I.M. 1986. Introduction to logic, 7th ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  11. Cui, Qingtian. 2004a. Tuilei-the dominant type of reasoning in Chinese logic. Academic Journal of Zhongzhou 3: 136–141.Google Scholar
  12. Cui, Qingtian. 2004b. Comparative research on Mohist and Aristotelian logic. Beijing: People’s Publishing House.Google Scholar
  13. Doury, M. 2009. Argument schemes typologies in practice: The case of comparative arguments. In Pondering on problems of argumentation: Twenty essays on theoretical issues, ed. F.H. van Eemeren and B. Garssen, 141–155. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garrett, M. 1991. Asian challenge. In Contemporary perspectives on rhetoric, ed. S. Foss, K. Foss, and R. Trapp, 295–314. Prospect Heights: Waveland.Google Scholar
  15. Garrett, M. 1993. Pathos reconsidered from the perspective of classical Chinese rhetorical theories. Quarterly Journal of Speech 79(1): 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garssen, B. 2009. Comparing the incomparable: figurative analogies in a dialectical testing procedure. In Pondering on problems of argumentation: Twenty essays on theoretical issues, ed. F.H. van Eemeren and B. Garssen, 133–140. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gentner, D. 1983. Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy. Cognitive Science 7: 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gentner, D., K. Holyoak, and B. Kokinov (eds.). 2001. The analogical mind: Perspectives from cognitive science. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Govier, T. 1985. Logical analogies. Informal Logic 7(1): 27–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Govier, T. 1987. Problems in argument analysis and evaluation. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  21. Govier, T. 1989. Analogies and missing premises. Informal Logic 11(3): 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guarini, M. 2004. A defence of non-deductive reconstructions of analogical arguments. Informal Logic 24(2): 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guarini, M., A. Butchart, P. Simard Smith, and A. Moldovan. 2009. Resources for research on analogy: A multi-disciplinary guide. Informal Logic 29(2): 84–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Harbsmeier, C. 1998. Language and logic in traditional China (volume 7, part I of Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Helman, D.H. (ed.). 1988. Analogical reasoning: Perspectives of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and philosophy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Hesse, M. 1965. Aristotle’s logic of analogy. The Philosophical Quarterly 15(61): 328–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hesse, M. 1966. Models and analogies in science. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Holyoak, K.J., D. Gentner, and B.N. Kokinov. 2001. Introduction: The place of analogy in cognition. In The analogical mind: Perspectives from cognitive science, ed. D. Gentner, K.J. Holyoak, and B.N. Kokinov, 1–19. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Holyoak, K.J., and P. Thagard. 1995. Mental leaps: Analogy in creative thought. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Jensen, J. 1992. Values and practices in Asian argumentation. Argumentation and Advocacy 28(4): 153–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jiao, Xun. 1987. Meng Zi Zheng Yi (Collected works of Mencius with interpretations). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company.Google Scholar
  32. Jin, Rongdong. 2014. The theory of Tuilei and the justification for the characteristics of ancient Chinese logic. Social Sciences 2014(3): 127–136.Google Scholar
  33. Juthe, André. 2005. Argument by analogy. Argumentation 19(1): 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Juthe, André. 2009. Refutation by parallel argument. Argumentation 23(2): 133–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Juthe, André. 2016. Classifications of arguments by analogy part I. Cogency 8(2): 51–99.Google Scholar
  36. Keynes, J.M. 1921. A treatise on probability. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Kitayama, S. and D. Cohen (eds.). 2007. Handbook of cultural psychology. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  38. Kraus, Manfred. 2015. Arguments by analogy (and what we can learn about them from Aristotle). In Reflections on theoretical issues in argumentation theory, ed. F.H. van Eemeren and B. Garssen, 171–182. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. Levinson, S.C. 1996. Language and space. Annual Review of Anthropology 25: 353–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Liu, Shu-Hsien. 1974. The use of analogy and symbolism in traditional Chinese philosophy. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 1: 313–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lloyd, A.C. 1962. Genus, species and ordered series in Aristotle. Phronesis 7(1): 67–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lloyd, G.E.R. 1966. Polarity and analogy: Two types of argumentation in early greek thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Lu, X. 1998. Rhetoric in ancient China, fifth to third century B. C. E.. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  44. Lu, X., and D. Frank. 1993. On the study of the ancient Chinese rhetoric/bian. Western Journal of Communication 57: 445–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lucy, J.A. 1992. Grammatical categories and cognition: A case study of the linguistic relativity hypothesis. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Luria, A.R. 1971. Towards the problem of the historical nature of psychological processes. International Journal of Psychology 6: 259–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Macagno, F. 2017. The logical and pragmatic structure of arguments from analogy. Logique et Analyse 240: 465–490.Google Scholar
  48. Macagno, F., and D. Walton. 2009. Argument from analogy in law, the classical tradition, and recent theories. Philosophy and Rhetoric 42(2): 154–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Macagno, F., D. Walton, and C. Tindale. 2017. Analogical arguments: Inferential structures and defeasibility conditions. Argumentation 31(2): 221–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Macagno, F., and B. Zavatta. 2014. Reconstructing metaphorical meaning. Argumentation 28(4): 453–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mill, J. S. (1843/1930). A system of logic. London: Longmans-Green.Google Scholar
  52. Moore, B.N., and R. Parker. 1998. Critical thinking, 5th ed. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.Google Scholar
  53. Nisbett, R.E. 2003. The geography of thought: How East Asians and Westerners think differently…and why. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  54. Nisbett, R.E., and A. Norenzayan. 2002. Culture and cognition. In Stevens’ handbook of experimental psychology, 3rd ed, ed. D. Medin and H. Pashler. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  55. Nisbett, R.E., K. Peng, I. Choi, and A. Norenzayan. 2001. Culture and systems of thought: Holistic vs. analytic cognition. Psychological Review 108: 291–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Oliver, R. 1971. Communication and culture in ancient India and China. NY: Syracuse University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Reding, Jean-Paul. 1986. Analogical reasoning in early Chinese philosophy. Asiatische Studien 40(1): 40–56.Google Scholar
  58. Rips, L. and J. Adler (eds.). 2008. Reasoning: Studies of human inference and its foundations. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Robinson, D.S. 1930. The principles of reasoning. 2nd ed. New York: D. Appleton.Google Scholar
  60. Rošker, Jana S. 2010. The concept of Structure as a basic epistemological paradigm of traditional Chinese thought. Asian Philosophy 20(1): 79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rubinelli, S. 2009. Ars Topica: The classical technique of constructing arguments from Aristotle to Cicero. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sherwin, E. 1999. A defence of analogical reasoning in law. University of Chicago Law Review 66: 1179–1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stebbing, L.S. 1933. A modern introduction to logic. 2nd ed. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  64. Sun, Yirang. 2001. Mo Zi Jian Gu (Collected works of Mozi with interpretations). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company.Google Scholar
  65. Sunstein, C. 1993. On analogical reasoning. Harvard Law Review 106: 741–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Waller, B. 2001. Classifying and analyzing analogies. Informal Logic 21(3): 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wang, Xianqian. 1988. Xun Zi Ji Jie (Collected works of Xunzi with interpretations). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company.Google Scholar
  68. Weinreb, L. 2005. Legal reason: The use of analogy in legal argument. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Woods, J., and B. Hudak. 1989. By parity of reasoning. Informal Logic 11(3): 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Woods, J., A. Irvine, and D. Walton. 2004. Argument: Critical thinking, logic and the fallacies. 2nd ed. Toronto: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  71. Yuan, Jinmei. 2005. “Kinds, Lei” in ancient Chinese logic: A comparison to “categories” in Aristotelian logic. History of Philosophy Quarterly 22(3): 181–199.Google Scholar
  72. Zhang, Dongsun. 1946. Knowledge and culture. Beijing: The Commercial Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Logic and Cognition, Department of PhilosophySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations