False Analogy

We could place the term “false analogy” into a group called a “logical fallacy“, which is a failure of reasoning. And so, as a reader, it is important to recognize logical fallacies, because they diminish the value of the author’s message. Don’t hesitate to also check our 236 free and powerful practice tests

The next lesson: False Dichotomy, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

So, like I said, a false analogy is a logical fallacy. And so, we could also call a false analogy a failure of reasoning. But, more specifically, it is when the author suggest that two things are similar when in fact, they are different. So, basically, a false analogy is a false comparison.

So, many times, an author uses a false analogy when they’re trying to convince the reader that something unknown is like something familiar. So, the author is taking something unknown to the reader and comparing it to something familiar.

Now, here, the author is taking advantage of the reader’s ignorance, because, like I said, this is comparing something unknown with something familiar. So, the reader is not familiar with this unknown thing that we’re talking about. So, because of that, the author is able to take advantage of the reader’s ignorance.

So, an example of a false analogy would be the statement right here:

Failing to tip a waitress is like stealing money out of somebody’s wallet.”

Now, of course, failing to tip is very rude, especially when the service has been good. But, people are not arrested for failing to tip, as they would be for stealing money from a wallet.

So, to compare stingy diners with thieves is a false analogy.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.

Mini-test: False Analogy 

‘Students should be allowed to look at their textbooks during examinations. After all, surgeons have X-rays to guide them during an operation; lawyers have briefs to guide them during a trial; carpenters have blueprints to guide them when they are building a house. Why, then, shouldn’t students be allowed to look at their textbooks during an examination?”

1. Which of the following best explains the problem with the analogy above?
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B.  
C.  
D.  
 

Mini-test: False Analogy 

Efforts to ban chlordane assailed

WASHINGTON (AP)–The only exterminator in Congress told his colleagues Wednesday that it would be a short- sighted move to ban use of chlordane and related termiticides that cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Supporters of the bill, however, claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency was ‘dragging its feet’ on a chemical that could cause 300,000 cancers in the American population in 70 years.

‘This bill reminds me of legislation that ought to be introduced to outlaw automobiles’ on the grounds that cars kill people, said Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who owns an exterminating business.

EPA banned use of the chemicals on crops in 1974, but permitted use against termites because the agency did not believe humans were exposed. Chlordane does not kill termites but rather drives them away.

Source: Associated Press, June 25th, 1987

2. Representative DeLay is comparing banning the use of the pesticide chlordane to banning the use of automobiles.

Which of the following differences makes this a weak or false analogy?
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B.  
C.  
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The next lesson: False Dichotomy, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

false-analogy




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