<philosophy of science, logic, epistemology> a systematic comparison between usually two structures that relies on properties of, and relations between, features (usually entities) of a source structure to infer properties of, and relations between, features (usually entities) of a target structure.
Analogy is an important methodo of reasoning, contributing to such cognitive tasks as explanation, planning, and decision making. Analogical arguments are sometimes used in philosophy, for example to argue that there exist other minds analogous to one's own. In artificial intelligence, analogy is often called case-based reasoning.
Gentner, D., Markman, A. B. (1997). Structure mapping in analogy and similarity. American Psychologist, 52, 45-56.
Holyoak, K. J., Thagard, P. (1995). Mental leaps: Analogy in creative thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Kolodner, J. (1993). Case-based reasoning. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Paul Thagard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chris Eliasmith - [Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind] Homepage
<epistemology, logic, semantics, thought, similarity>, <induction, ambiguity, argumentation, rethoric> similarity in several respects between discrete cases. A logical argument by analogy relies upon an inductive inference from the supposition that things are similar is certain known respects to the likelihood that they are also similar in some further unknown respect. Example: "Jennifer enjoys listening to the music of Beethoven, Mahler, and Bartok. Susan and Harold also like Beethoven, Mahler, and Bartok. Chris enjoys listening to Beethoven and Mahler. Therefore, Chris would probably like the music of Bartok, too." The degree of reliability achieved by such an argument depends upon the extent and nature of the similarities that hold between the instances in its premises and the new case in its conclusion. Recommended Reading: G.E.R. Lloyd, Polarity and Analogy: Two Types of Argumentation in Early Greek Thought (Hackett, 1992); Ralf M. W. Stammberger, On Analogy: An Essay Historical and Systematic (Peter Lang, 1995).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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