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ERIC Number: EJ890472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Mathematical Analogy and Metaphorical Insight
Zwicky, Jan
For the Learning of Mathematics, v30 n1 p9-14 2010
How are we to understand the power of certain literary metaphors? The author argues that the apprehension of good metaphors is importantly similar to the apprehension of fruitful mathematical analogies: both involve a structural realignment of vision. The author then explores consequences of this claim, drawing conceptually significant parallels between proofs and poems and suggesting that the shared epistemological structure of good metaphors and fruitful mathematical analogies raises an interesting ontological issue. Just as, and to the extent that, the fruitfulness of analogies may be taken to underwrite realism in mathematics, so the power of good metaphors may be regarded as evidence of a mind-independent universe.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A