A definition of Analogy

Definition : Explaining commonsense, logically.

Illustration – 

What is the meaning of the word ‘liaison’? Anything that brings about greater coordination/communication – cooperation – between groups of people or organisations.

Another meaning closer to the origin/root meaning is ‘a thickening/binding agent of a sauce’.

After hearing these 2 meanings, commonsensically, it immediately flashes why they are the same i.e. why they are used for the same word.

Logical analysis (splitting) will tell that the agent is the ‘anything’; the thickening/binding is the ‘bringing about the cooperation’, and the sauce is the ‘people/organisation in general’.

The logical tying/fitting of agents, in a commonsense-phenomenon, is the process of Analogy-establishment.


And a small point about the Cognitive dynamics of analogy-establishment between 2 things : 

Firstly, what is the process of analogy-making? 

  1. first we associate – this process is logical – one to one correspondence tying.
  2. then we see a full pattern at the end (complete match).
  3. then conclusion of analogousness. 

Now, here there are 2 possible paths for the above process – a) Going from Commonsense to Logic and b) Going from Logic to Commonsense. 

Path a) Here we TRY (part by part correspondence/tying), without knowledge beforehand about the complete picture, if there are say 1 or 2 matches initially. If things match fully, then it coalesces within the mind that there is a nice analogy here. 

Path b) But this path is very odd and almost impossible. That is, given 2 random things, we will never, without any kind of initial appeal, try to see/check, part by part, if their parts are analogous unless there are some partial luckily-seen matches initially – but which again makes it like the process ‘a’, since there is a commonsensical inspiration! 

The initial inspiration in checking if things are analogous is commonsensical.

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