A multiple analogy is a structured comparison in which several sources are likened to a target. In Multiple analogies in science and philosophy, Shelley provides a thorough account of the cognitive representations and processes that participate in multiple analogy formation. Through analysis of real examples taken from the fields of evolutionary biology, archaeology, and Plato's Republic, Shelley argues that multiple analogies are not simply concatenated single analogies but are instead the general form of analogical inference, of which single analogies are a special case. The result is a truly general cognitive model of analogical inference.
Shelley also shows how a cognitive account of multiple analogies addresses important philosophical issues such as the confidence that one may have in an analogical explanation, and the role of analogy in science and philosophy.
This book lucidly demonstrates that important questions regarding analogical inference cannot be answered adequately by consideration of single analogies alone.
Table of contents
List of Figures and Tables ix
1. The problem of multiple analogies 1–9
2. Multiple analogies and “old fourlegs” 11–33
3. Multiple analogies from the Mesozoic 35–63
4. Multiple analogies in archaeology 65–87
5. Multiple analogies in Plato’s Republic 89–112
6. Modelling multiple analogies 113–135
Appendix: Historical review 137–151