Modes of analogy "What human cognitive abilities capture as structures from the world?"


  • Suehye Lee


modes of analogy, human cognitive abilities, creativity


Every new things and ideas involve any inventions inside. If people attempts to elucidate those creative abilities to make them being enable, there would be one question that people could come up with. “What human cognitive abilities capture as structures from the world?” Structualisme gave an answer to this problem through Metonymy and Metaphor. Recently those questions are relocated in analogies. However those solutions have not been reached out to concise suggestions to apply analogies to several fields in practical way due to be unclear and uncomfortable to utilize them.

Analogies are generally described in these three; proportional analogies, predictive analogies and analogical problem solving in existing research on analogies. These classifications are fit to comparing results which are available to observe from outside as data, but not good enough for analogies generation processes which are ways to know human cognitive effect. By current general cognitive processes of analogies, it begins with source domain and target domain to get analogy. Then there are key effects in middle of analogies processes; retrieval, mapping and transfer. In order to make the capacity for putting analogies to practical use, it should be considered to refine the works on some key elements on cognitive processes like memories, abstraction and transfer. To those problems, this study has been approached to make an addition to types of memory by Larry Squire with ‘memory of image’ as the third memory. Therefore, in this study it is considered that most of metaphors are utilized to understand things to make them outstanding, and metonymy refers to describe things through part-whole relation. In addition, it is concerned that synecdoche based on concept hierarchy is also a class of metonymy. It attempts to formulate analogies for analogies research by categorizing analogies as working modes to find out relations. Considering these points, this paper provides 5 types of modes of analogy in the categories of metonymical and metaphorical at first, then 3 types of modes of analogy which could be located in new categories between metonymy and metaphor to give an answer to “What human cognitive abilities capture as structures from the world?”

The previous study of analogies generation processes in human cognitive science has been adopted in this study to make processes more clear.  In evaluating modes of analogy, ‘transfer’ which is a key element on analogies processes should be also refined. For this problem, this paper gives an attention to what things make relations on each domains; source and target. Then this paper gives two classifications to show features of relations between source and Target domains. Also, this paper provides one more kind of classification to know features from modes of analogy. According to features of existing analogies, modes of analogy could be divided in case-based analogies and no case-based analogies. Through these framings, this study found that some modes of analogy could be considered that they displays more creativity on the analogies generation processes than other modes of analogy.

As a result of this achievement, this study found one unique way to capture structures by human cognitive besides metonymical and metaphorical ways. It shows relations even there is no common axis to link between things. Some part of this field were mentioned in philosophy as ‘strength’. It means human cognitive captures structures in infinity, and this is before representations. This field will be discussed in future work.



How to Cite

Lee, S. (2019). Modes of analogy "What human cognitive abilities capture as structures from the world?". Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2017 Vienna, Austria, 2017(1). Retrieved from