Analogical reasoning and modeling in the sciences

Foundations of Science 4 (3):237-270 (1999)
This paper aims at integrating the work onanalogical reasoning in Cognitive Science into thelong trend of philosophical interest, in this century,in analogical reasoning as a basis for scientificmodeling. In the first part of the paper, threesimulations of analogical reasoning, proposed incognitive science, are presented: Gentner''s StructureMatching Engine, Mitchel''s and Hofstadter''s COPYCATand the Analogical Constraint Mapping Engine, proposedby Holyoak and Thagard. The differences andcontroversial points in these simulations arehighlighted in order to make explicit theirpresuppositions concerning the nature of analogicalreasoning. In the last part, this debate in cognitivescience is applied to some traditional philosophicalaccounts of formal and material analogies as a basisfor scientific modeling, like Mary Hesse`s, and tomore recent ones, that already draw from the work inArtificial Intelligence, like that proposed byAronson, Harré and Way
Keywords analogical reasoning  scientific modeling  scientific discovery  heuristics
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009623823171
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