As an attempt to transfer similarities from a phenomenon to another one, analogies imply some aspects that should be consciously assumed.
According to J.W. SUTHERLAND: "… analogy-building is an extension of assumptivism (note: see: Assumptional Analysis, Reductionism)…But the fundamental difference between assumptivism and analogy-building is that, in the latter case, we are imposing an entire system of relations rather than single parametric values or sets of predicates (cum first premises)" (1973, p.123)
St. BEER showed that the process of analogy building, or "scientific analogizing" consists in connecting conceptual homomorphic models of two or more situations (1968, p.111)
Using the example of the controversy around the validity of the analogy between computers and brain ("The brain is a computer" metaphor), A. RAPOPORT observes; "The controversy is obscured by clashing philosophical convictions…. The answer… is not to be found in what a brain and a computer "are" (such questions are vestiges of pre-scientific metaphysics), rather in what brains and computers do" (1966, p. 9)
We should add: and in which way they are doing it, as the brain seems to be working, at least partly, in a simultaneous manner, as a network, while the computer, at least the digital one, is basically sequential.
Ironically, analogy-building, in search of homomorphisms or isomorphisms, ends up in some cases as just a more refined reductionism. Systemists and cyberneticians should beware of this !
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science(2020).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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