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The Art of Social Theory$
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Richard Swedberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155227

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155227.001.0001

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Analogy, Metaphor, and Pattern

Analogy, Metaphor, and Pattern

(p.80) Chapter 4 Analogy, Metaphor, and Pattern
The Art of Social Theory

Richard Swedberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how to use analogies, work with metaphors, and recognize and read patterns. Using analogies and metaphors as well as pattern recognition represent three ways of thinking that differ from the classical way of reasoning. One of their strengths is precisely that they are able to proceed in ways that formal logic cannot. Another is that they are helpful in coming up with new approaches to things. They are also especially helpful when used in combination with patient and methodical reasoning. Analogies, metaphors, and pattern recognition have all been used in a wide array of disciplines, from archaeology and biology to economics and law. This means that there exists plenty of experience to draw on for the theorizer.

Keywords:   analogies, metaphors, patterns, pattern recognition, reasoning, thinking

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