Analogies in Scientific Explanations: Concept Formation by Analogies in Cultural Evolutionary Theory

In Henrique Jales Ribeiro (ed.), Systematic Approaches to Argument by Analogy. Springer. pp. 209--226 (2014)
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In philosophy of science concept formation and reduction is usually discussed with respect to definability. In the paper at hand this discussion is slightly expanded to an investigation of concept formation and reduction by analogies. It is argued that many kinds of such analogies bear some important features of partial contextual definitions. With the help of a detailed investigation of the so-called gene-meme-analogy it is then demonstrated how the meme-concept is introduced via analogies into an expanded theory of (cultural) evolution. As a consequence it is shown that the diversity of meanings of the meme-concept fits into the current state of establishing this analogy.



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