Multiple Analogies in Science and Philosophy by Cameron Shelley

By Cameron Shelley

A a number of analogy is a established comparability within which numerous resources are likened to a goal. In "Multiple analogies in technological know-how and philosophy", Shelley offers a radical account of the cognitive representations and methods that perform a number of analogy formation. via research of actual examples taken from the fields of evolutionary biology, archaeology, and Plato's "Republic", Shelley argues that a number of analogies usually are not easily concatenated unmarried analogies yet are as a substitute the overall type of analogical inference, of which unmarried analogies are a distinct case. the result's a really normal cognitive version of analogical inference. Shelley additionally exhibits how a cognitive account of a number of analogies addresses vital philosophical matters comparable to the boldness that one could have in an analogical rationalization, and the position of analogy in technological know-how and philosophy. This e-book lucidly demonstrates that very important questions relating to analogical inference can't be responded properly through attention of unmarried analogies by myself.

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Sample text

The analogy does its work by transferring the relation unmelted-by (represented by the “:”) from the bean domain to the civic domain. The result, if we understand unmelted-by as undeterred-by when applied to humans, is support for the proposition that some men will be undeterred by strong laws – that is, some men will commit acts even knowing that those acts are prohibited by law. This proposition then justifies imposing harsh penalties for illegal acts, in order to deter ‘hornstruck’ men from lawbreaking.

As might be expected, the problems are even more acute in the case of reasoning about what we may call “dead fossils”, organisms that are truly extinct. But the lives and adaptations of extinct organisms may be just as interesting as those of living ones. Also, the study of extinct organisms offers special insights into the course of evolution and the demands to be met by evolutionary theory. As a consequence, biology is an especially promising field for the investigation of multiple analogies.

Abstraction is a process whereby a large number of potential source analogs is reduced to a manageable quantity. 4. In the case of rod-pigments and reproductive strategies, there are a great number of fish with which Latimeria might be compared, but the task of constructing so many analogies is presumably too onerous and redundant to be useful. In both analogies, the biologists take advantage of the fact that fish fall into natural, evolutionary groups in order to reduce the full set of source analogs to two,7 one for each group.

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