They’re Logically Fallacious! Weak Analogy

Riley Sproul Ideas, Logical Fallacies Leave a Comment

Weak Analogy:

(a.k.a. faulty analogy, argument from spurious similarity)

An informal fallacy; in which one uses an analogy to make ones point, but the analogy does not suitably fit the point attempting to be made. This fallacy is sometimes used with the conscious intent to trick the other party, as analogies can be convincing when technical language is out of reach.


Example: 1) X is similar to Y. 2) X has/does not have property P. 3) Therefore Y has/does not have property P.


Real World Example:

“The idea that different species can come about through gradual change, is like saying you can build a ladder to the moon.”

A commonly drawn analogy is one between the brain and computers. However, this breaks down when one looks closely at the differences (relevant io9 article).

Indicator: Absurdity is often a hallmark of this fallacy, although not always. Sometimes the analogy can seem rather fitting, and on a small-scale, it can be useful. But the trick is knowing that all analogies will eventually break when stretched too far, because at the end of the day, you’re talking about two different thing.


Next week: Unfalsifiability

Last week: False Dichotomy

All previously explored fallacies!


Riley Sproul has a Bachelors in Biology, with a concentration in PreMed, and a Chemistry Minor, from the University of Toledo. His goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Neurobiology with in the next 4-5 years. His interests include sci-fi, PC-gaming, playing guitar, and a variety of other hobbies.
They’re Logically Fallacious! Weak Analogy was last modified: May 27th, 2015 by Riley Sproul