In philosophy, analogy denotes a relationship of similarity between two entities, called analogues, such that from the equality or similarity observed between some elements of these entities, the equality or similarity of all their other elements can also be deduced. More generally, in common usage, analogy is the relationship that the mind grasps between two or more things that have in their constitution, behavior, or processes some common feature. Unlike logic, it is not concerned with inferential systems and categories of thought.
|From Latin analogia.
From Ancient Greek ἀναλογία (analogía); from ἀνά (aná) + λόγος (lógos, “speech, reckoning”).
This term is also used in the following contexts:
- in art, the Greek term (analoghia) used to denote symmetry; it is also the concept generally used to promote uniqueness;
- in law, the interpretive procedure used to address a gap in the legal system;
- in theology (analogia entis), the concept that expresses the middle way between univocity and equivocity with respect to God;
- in linguistics, the process of eliminating morphological irregularities by replacing them with forms more widely used in a given language;
- in rhetoric, the juxtaposition of two or more words following their similarity;
- in semantics, the compositional process carried out through the replacement of parts of words;
- in physics and mathematics, the procedure that investigates the less known fields of science, starting from the laws that govern better known phenomena;
- in biology, organs that perform the same function but come from different origins, such as the wing of a bird and an insect, are analogous.