Analogy allows us to bring the unknown from the known, to build bridges from a reassuring shore, to find common realities. Analogy is a powerful didactic tool.
To introduce a concept such as fractals, we start with examples, such as broccoli or raindrops falling on the ground and then link to their mathematical formulation. The bridge between theory and application is built of proportional relations between the objective measures of the theory and the perceived reality in all its aesthetic and emotional complexity, enriched by a thousand other considerations. No objective description can make a reality as tangible as a good analogy.
Knowledge is essentially made up of links between reality and concepts, analogy can easily be exploited to its limits; similarities, differences, identities are the beacons for the use of analogies. Analogy can also help to refine judgment and teach to recognize the subjectivity of each situation. "The shadow of the camel is characteristic only in profile."
Analogy also opens the door to poetry, some poems are so evocative that they free the imagination. The world of analogies is like a daydream that opens up points of view and introduces sets of data that are already related. Some analogies give reality and guide understanding. Like introducing more human, communication, perceptions.
Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]
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