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By Parallel ReasoningThe Construction and Evaluation of Analogical Arguments$
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Paul Bartha

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195325539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325539.001.0001

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Similarity and Patterns of Generalization

Similarity and Patterns of Generalization

Chapter:
(p.195) 6 Similarity and Patterns of Generalization
Source:
By Parallel Reasoning
Author(s):

Paul F. A. Bartha (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325539.003.0006

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.

Keywords:   feature matching, formal similarity, generalization, invariant relation, kinds, mathematical formalism, parametric similarity, Pythagorean analogies, Steiner

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