Multiple Analogies in Science and Philosophy

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A multiple analogy is a structured comparison in which several sources are likened to a target. In <i>Multiple analogies in science and philosophy</i>, Shelley provides a thorough account of the cognitive representations and processes that participate in multiple analogy formation. Through analysis of real examples taken from the fields of evolutionary biology, archaeology, and Plato's <i>Republic</i>, Shelley argues that multiple analogies are not simply concatenated single analogies but are instead the general form of analogical inference, of which single analogies are a special case. The result is a truly general cognitive model of analogical inference.Shelley also shows how a cognitive account of multiple analogies addresses important philosophical issues such as the confidence that one may have in an analogical explanation, and the role of analogy in science and philosophy.<br />This book lucidly demonstrates that important questions regarding analogical inference cannot be answered adequately by consideration of single analogies alone.

Subjects: Cognition and language; Philosophy; Cognitive psychology

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Michigan

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