The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Analogy and Metaphor

  • Rom Harré
Reference work entry


We say that something A is analogous to something B if, in some relevant respect, A is similar to but not identical with B. This is the basic relation upon which the use of analogy in various kinds of reasoning depends. We speak of reasoning by analogy when on the basis of some similarity which we discern between two things or processes or properties, or what you will, we infer some other similarity. Reasoning by analogy is a special case of inductive reasoning since we must be wary of the possibility that the further similarities which are presupposed in our inference may not actually obtain. Like all inductive inference reasoning by analogy is stepping from the known to the unknown. Clearly, then, analogical reasoning is not demonstrative or deductive.


Analogy Metaphor Models Simile 

JEL Classifications

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  1. Bunge, M. 1973. Method, model and matter. Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hesse, M. 1963. Models and analogies in science. London: Sheed and Ward.Google Scholar
  3. Martin, J., and R. Harré. 1982. Metaphor in science. In Metaphor: Problems and perspectives, ed. D. Miall. Brighton: Harvester Press.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rom Harré
    • 1
  1. 1.