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Title: The relationship between analogy and categorisation in cognition
Author: Ramscar, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This central topic of this thesis is the relationship between categorisation and analogy in cognition. Questions of what a straightforward representation of a concept or category is, and following from that how extra-categorical associations such as analogy and metaphor are possible are central to our understanding of human reasoning and comprehension. However, despite the intimate linkage between the two, the trend in cognitive science has been to treat analogy and categorisation as separable, distinctive phenomena that can be studied in isolation from one another. This strategy has proved remarkably effective when it comes to the cognitive modelling of extra-categorical associations. A number of compelling and detailed models of analogy process exist, and there is widespread agreement amongst researchers studying analogy as to what the key cognitive processes that determine analogies are. However, these models of analogy tend to assume some kind of fully specified category processing module which governs and determine ordinary, straightforward conceptual mappings. Indeed, this assumption is required in order to talk about analogy and metaphor in the first place: few theorists actually define analogy and metaphor per se, but all agree that analogical and metaphoric judgements can be defined in contrast to ordinary categorisation judgements. This thesis reviews these models of analogy, and evidence for them, before conducting a detailed exploration of categorisation in relation to analogy. A theoretical and empirical review is presented in order to show that the straightforward notion of categorisation that underpins the distinctive phenomena approach to the study of analogy and categorisation is more apparent than real. Whilst intuitively, analogy and categorisation might feel like different things which can be contrasted with one another, from a cognitive processing point of view, this thesis argues that such a distinction may not survive a detailed scientific examination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available