Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes


As I mentioned analogies the other day, I thought this XKCD comic would be a good accompaniment.  Cass Sunstein wrote about analogical reasoning a number of years ago.  Lloyd Weinreb, in what I think is the most intellectually compelling take on this – careful and venturesome at the same time – developed several articles into a 2005 book from Cambridge UP (delighted to say the $75 or so book is available on Kindle for $12.95!).  But, truly, the most important intellectual on the topic of analogies has to be Scott Adams, who has made a career and, I trust, a reasonable fortune attacking bad analogies from every angle.

(XKCD provides on the site for this kind of embedding, so I think it’s copyright ok.  Here’s a link directly to this comic.  Sorry if this doesn’t load correctly on your browser; I’m not going to try to fix it- when I reduced the size, people couldn’t seem to read the words.)

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