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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

(p.195) 6 Similarity and Patterns of Generalization
By Parallel Reasoning

Paul F. A. Bartha (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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