Re: Analogy and Creativity

From: HARNAD Stevan (
Date: Mon Jun 03 1996 - 15:51:58 BST

> From: "Beck, Alexandra"<>
> Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 21:12:35 GMT
> Firstly, analogy describes the degree of similarity between one thing
> or process and another, which makes it possible to explain something by
> compairing it to something else. For example an author draws an analogy
> between the way water moves in waves and the way light travels. Thus,
> gaining an explanation by comparison.

An analogy is based on a feature or features that two things, or two
kinds of things, share, to varying degrees. Everything resembles
everything else in many ways, so a good analogy must pick out a way that
brings something out that was not obvious before.

An analogy may or may not lead to an explanation.

> Secondly, a creation is to bring something into being or form out of
> nothing.

Out of NOTHING? (Isn't it a new recombination of elements that were
already there before?)

> Ideas which are creative ( novel ) not only DID NOT happen
> before, but which COULD NOT happen before hence, not only being new and
> valuable, but also unexpected.

Unexpected = could not happen before? (Isn't it rather that they are
unlikely and not obvious from what was known before, rather than

> Dreams are one example of the role that analogy plays in creative
> thinking. In this example iconic representations are often super -
> imposed on meaningful aspects of information. Einstein dreamt the
> answer to relativity in terms of symbols in dreams.

Could you be more specific? What did he dream? What did that lead to?
This is just the repetition of hearsay.

> The structure of
> Benzine was discovered by a dream, where a coiled, twisted snake was
> biting its tail. Also Lorenzo's oil was an analogy creation when a
> dream about two identical chains linking at one end created an enzyme
> that saved lives of those who needed this special enzyme to servive.

Please always use a spell-checker before posting.

> A
> non scientific example of an analogy is where Geroge Orwell in Animal
> Farm compaires human beings to animals and these animals to famous
> Russian leaders and in doing so draws comparisoms which explaines the
> revolution.

Kid-sib does not quite see how finding analogies explains something.
You should work out an example to explain what you mean by that.

> So analogy does play a big role in creative thinking in drawing
> comparisons, which link together to produce new creative ideas.

Too vague on similarity, comparison, recombination...

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