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Exemplar Reasoning

 

Disciplines Argument > Types of reasoning > Exemplar Reasoning

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Exemplar reasoning is the use of examples in argument. The example may be told as a story or may be a short comparator. It may be a duplicate of the situation or may be a relatively distant metaphor. It may be of a known person, known situation or something not directly known to the other person.

Example

You should go out more often. I have a friend who used to stay in and was never really happy.

You know I had a dog like yours and he wouldn't fetch things either. I found that rubbing some jam on the stick worked.

You want to be a pop-star? Look at Jules Markam and how hard he worked. Are you prepared to put in the hours?

Discussion

Examples are often very persuasive as they contain evidence of 'real world' situations. We believe the evidence and so set up a pattern of believing that leads us to agree with the overall argument.

The assumption in the use an example is that it can be generalized to the situation about which you are talking. This is not necessarily true and may be resisted with arguments of the form 'Ah, but this is different...'.

Examples used may be direct, as above, or indirect, such as using them as metaphor of some kind to map between domains or models, bringing analogical richness to the situation.

See also

Assumption principle, Evidence principle, Analogical reasoning, Storytelling, Metaphor

 

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