Messing Up the Mind?:Analogical Reasoning with Metaphors

Fischer, Eugen ORCID: (2014) Messing Up the Mind?:Analogical Reasoning with Metaphors. In: Systematic Approaches to Argument by Analogy. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 129-148. ISBN 978-3-319-06333-1

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One major facilitator of analogical reasoning is conceptual metaphor: cross-domain mappings that preserve relations and thereby motivate the extension of linguistic terms from the source to the target domain. Their conscious and explicit use in analogical reasoning has been helpful and productive in disciplines ranging from physics to psychology, and philosophy. At the same time, students of metaphor have suggested that partially unwitting use of conceptual metaphors led to unsound but intuitive conceptions of the mind, in philosophy and psychology. This paper develops an explanation of some highly influential intuitions from the philosophy of mind, which helps answer the resulting question: When and why does the frequently helpful use of metaphors in analogical reasoning turn pernicious? In response, the paper brings together two hitherto largely distinct strands of research from cognitive psychology, in a case-study on the philosophy of mind: The paper uses structure-mapping theory to explain how simple analogical reasoning generates conceptual metaphors that facilitate more complex analogical reasoning, which is often non-intentional. Second, the paper examines how such reasoning interacts with partial-matching effects in memory-based processing. Drawing on Budiu and Anderson’s model of ‘information-based processing’, the paper shows that this interaction leads to predictable fallacies. It brings out the relevance of such fallacies by showing that they shaped introspective conceptions of the mind that dominated philosophical discourse throughout early modernity and retain some cultural influence to this day. On this basis, the paper delineates when and where those fallacies are liable to occur.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Wittgenstein
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 13:20
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:34

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