The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #894

Title:Analogy as a Sub-Process of Categorisation
Authors:Darrington,S; Lingstadt,T; Ramscar,MJ
Date:Mar 1998
Abstract:Analogy has traditionally been defined in terms of a contrast definition: analogies represent connections between things which are distinct from the "normal" connections determined by our "ordinary" concepts and categories. In this paper we present further empirical evidence to add to other findings showing that the distinction between the two is more folk-psychology than empirically based theory. Research into analogy is however, distinct from research into categorisation when it comes to the richness of its process models. A number of detailed, plausible models of the analogical process exist (Forbus, Gentner and Law, 1995; Holyoak and Thagard, 1995): the same cannot be said of categorisation. On the other hand, these analogical process models make a number of explicit and implicit assumptions regarding an "external" categorical process. Whilst treating these processes as separate has been useful in constraining the scope of cognitive investigations, we argue that it ultimately confuses the relationship between analogy and categorisation and is hampering the progress towards further understanding of both.

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