Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Analogy: an analogy is a formal parallelism. It intends to show that from a similar case, similar conclusions can be drawn.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Alan Sokal on Analogies - Dictionary of Arguments

I 28
Analogies/Sokal/Bricmont: we criticize the use of scientific concepts by authors who have not understood the scientific meaning of these terms themselves.
The recognition of a conclusive analogy between two existing theories can often be very useful for the further development of both theories.
In our opinion, however, the authors we are investigating are analogies between generally accepted theories (from the natural sciences) and theories that are too vague to be empirically verifiable (e. g. Lacanian psychoanalysis).
>J. Lacan
, >Psychoanalysis.
I 150
Analogies/Lacan/Latour/BricmontVsLacan/BricmontVsLatour/SokalVsLacan/SokalVsLatour: Latour - just like Lacan (see A. Sokal and J. Bricmont 1999(1), p. 38) insist on the literal validity of a comparison, which at best should be provided as a vague metaphor. For example, the enunciator (the didactic trick of Einstein to explain the theory of relativity) is assumed to be a real person whose privileges must be fought against. Afterwards, Latour says:.... Fighting against privileges in economics or physics is literally the same, but not in metaphorical terms. (B. Latour 1988(2) p. 23.)
I 154
Assuming that Latour's sociological concepts can be defined as precisely as those of relativity theory, and someone who is familiar with both theories could establish a formal analogy between the two. This analogy could perhaps contribute to explain relativity theory to a sociologist who is familiar with Latour's sociology, or to explain Latour's sociology to a physicist, but what sense should it have in explaining the sociology of Latour to other sociologists on the basis of the analogy to relativity theory?
>Explanations, >Relativity, >Comparisons, >Comparability.

1. A. Sokal und J. Bricmont. (1999) Eleganter Unsinn. München.
2. B. Latour, „A relativistic account of Einstein’s relativity“, Social Studies of Science, 18, 1988.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sokal I
Alan Sokal
Jean Bricmont
Fashionabel Nonsense. Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science, New York 1998
German Edition:
Eleganter Unsinn. Wie die Denker der Postmoderne die Wissenschaften missbrauchen München 1999

Sokal II
Alan Sokal
Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science New York 1999

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