I am wondering what is the concept of the bold part. A vivd example or explanation might be useful to get it.

Evaluating Analogies Because analogical reasoning is so common and has the potential to be both persuasive and faulty, you will find it very useful to recognize such reasoning and know how to systematically evaluate it. To evaluate the quality of an analogy, you need to focus on two factors.

  1. The number of ways the two things being compared are similar and different.
  2. The relevance of the similarities and the differences.

    A word of caution: You can almost always find some similarities between any two things. So, analogical reasoning will not be persuasive simply because of many similarities. Strong analogies will be ones in which the two things we compare possess relevant similarities and lack relevant differences. All analogies try to illustrate underlying principles. Relevant similarities and differences are ones that directly relate to the underlying principle illustrated by the analogy.

    cheers, nima

Extracted from the book " Asking the Right Questions"

A Guide to Critical Thinking M. Neil Browne

page 131

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    Did you try looking it up in a dictionary? If you have looked it up and something in the definition doesn't make sense, then we can help you more, but on this site we try to avoid answering questions that can be answered with a dictionary. – DJMcMayhem Apr 28 '15 at 20:39

This is the definition of an analogy:

a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

So for example, if I was trying to explain a spoon to you (random example) then I would say: "a spoon is like a fork but their for liquids instead of hard food"

Mr. Neil is saying that a good analogy is one: The number of ways the two things being compared are similar and different. So back to the the spoon and fork example, the differences between the fork and the spoon are they have a different shape and look, and the uses are different, but the similarities are that they're both silverware and they are both food related. And two: The relevance of the similarities and the differences. So the fork is relevant to the spoon because they're both silverware and both things you use for food.

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