4The development of reasoning by analogy
Reasoning by analogy can be considered a core component of human cognition. Analogy is important for learning and classification, for thinking and explaining, and for reasoning and problem solving. The history of science demonstrates the role of analogy in key scientific discoveries. Indeed, many argue that reasoning by analogy is central to creative thinking (Holyoak & Thagard, 1995). The contribution of analogical reasoning to cognition has been defined in various ways, including Holyoak and Thagard’s (1995) concept of ‘mental leaps’. Holyoak and Thagard argued that even the simplest analogy involves a mental leap, as it requires seeing one thing as if it were another. The reasoner must ...
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