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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Understanding analogical reasoning : viewpoints from psychology and related disciplines


Analogy and metaphor have a long history of study in linguistics, education, philosophy and psychology. Consensus over what analogy is or how analogy functions in language and thought, however, has been elusive. This paper, the first in a two part series, examines these various research traditions, attempting to bring out major lines of agreement over the role of analogy in individual human experience. As well as being a general literature review which may be helpful for newcomers to the study of analogy, this paper attempts to extract from these literatures existing theories, models and concepts which may be interesting or useful for computational studies of analogical reasoning.

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