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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DOI 10.1162/POSC_a_00035
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References found in this work BETA
R. I. G. Hughes (1997). Models and Representation. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):336.
J. E. McGuire (1970). Atoms and the 'Analogy of Nature': Newton's Third Rule of Philosophizing. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 1 (1):3-58.
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
Giora Hon & Bernard R. Goldstein (2012). Maxwell’s Contrived Analogy: An Early Version of the Methodology of Modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (4):236-257.
Benjamin Goldberg (2013). A Dark Business, Full of Shadows: Analogy and Theology in William Harvey. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):419-432.

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