The Uses of Analogies in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Science

Perspectives on Science 19 (2):154-191 (2011)
The uses of analogy are ancient. It can even be argued that analogical thinking is the most basic cognitive tool humans have to move from the unknown to the known (Gentner et al. 2001). As Olson succinctly puts it, “analogies are useful when it is desired to compare an unfamiliar system with one that is better known” (Olson 1943, p. i). Analogical thinking is thus ubiquitous and found in many texts at least since Homer in Antiquity (Lloyd 1966). For example, it is well known that to explain the properties of atoms, Aristotle compared them to the letters of alphabets, something much better known to his readers than invisible atoms (Hallyn 2000).Many studies have looked at particular uses of analogies among the ..
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References found in this work BETA
Lorraine Daston (1984). Galilean Analogies: Imagination at the Bounds of Sense. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 75:302-310.
Peter Galison (1984). Descartes's Comparisons: From the Invisible to the Visible. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 75:311-326.

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Citations of this work BETA
Benjamin Goldberg (2013). A Dark Business, Full of Shadows: Analogy and Theology in William Harvey. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):419-432.
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