Similarity and Patterns of Generalization
This chapter develops the thesis that the goal of an analogical argument is to generalize a particular logical, causal or explanatory relationship. Three separate types of similarity prominent in scientific analogies are characterized: feature matching, formal similarity, and parametric similarity (or continuity). These types are linked to prominent forms of generalization: common kinds, common mathematical formalisms and invariant relations. Notably, the chapter considers—and rejects—Steiner's thesis that an inscrutable class of “Pythagorean” analogies played a fundamental role in advancing nineteenth‐ and twentieth‐century physics.
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