Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy

Dedre Gentner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2591 Scopus citations

Abstract

A theory of analogy must describe how the meaning of an analogy is derived from the meanings of its parts. In the structure-mapping theory, the interpretation rules are characterized as implicit rules for mapping knowledge about a base domain into a target domain. Two important features of the theory are (a) the rules depend only on syntactic properties of the knowledge representation, and not on the specific content of the domains; and (b) the theoretical framework allows analogies to be distinguished cleanly from literal similarity statements, applications of abstractions, and other kinds of comparisons. Two mapping principles are described: (a) Relations between objects, rather than attributes of objects, are mapped from base to target; and (b) The particular relations mapped are determined by systematicity, as defined by the existence of higher-order relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalCognitive Science
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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