that old GNU/Linux argument
vvmarko at panet.co.yu
Sat Jul 26 19:50:56 UTC 2008
On Saturday 26 July 2008 01:26, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> On Jul 24, 2008, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at panet.co.yu> wrote:
> > Persons A and B are running a marathon on the Olympic games.
> You're quite creative at presenting analogies that sound convincing to
> support a point you're trying to make, and that hide all of their
> flaws in the careful manipulation of the mapping so that they end up
> supporting your point of view. One thing you need to learn (or maybe
> you do, and you hope people won't challenge the mapping) is that this
> doesn't make for convincing arguments.
I use analogies in order to make a distinction between the idea that I want to
communicate and the detailed description of the topic that interferes and
clouds the bare-bone idea. If one is presented with an argument in some
setting, one usually has trouble differentiating between the argument and the
setting. If one is given an argument in two different settings (and this
argument is the same for both), one can make a distinction between the
argument and each of the settings much easier, thus isolating and
concentrating on the argument, rather than the setting. This is in general a
purpose of an analogy, as I understand it (and use it).
Of course, every analogy has limits, because the two settings are different,
and if one pushes the analogy too far beyond the argument itself (and into
the settings), these differences begin to show up, eventually rendering the
analogy false. But that is only if one pushes it further than intended.
So yes, you are completely right, I am intentionally manipulating the mapping
of an analogy in order to emphasize the point. The analogy itself serves the
sole purpose of illustrating and emphasizing, not as a proof of the point
That said, I do agree that this marathon analogy was a little rough on the
More information about the fedora-list