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Reasoning from Imagery and Analogy in Scientific Concept Formation

Nancy J. Nersessian
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1988, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1988), pp. 41-47
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192967
Page Count: 7
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Reasoning from Imagery and Analogy in Scientific Concept Formation
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Abstract

Concept formation in science is a reasoned process, commensurate with ordinary problem-solving processes. An account of how analogical reasoning and reasoning from imagistic representations generate new scientific concepts is presented. The account derives from case studies of concept formation in science and from computational theories of analogical problem solving in cognitive science. Concept formation by analogy is seen to be a process of increasing abstraction from existing conceptual structures.

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