Research Article

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, 6:480

First online:

Abduction and metaphor: An inquiry into common cognitive mechanism

  • Cihua XuAffiliated withCenter for the Study of Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University
  • , Hengwei LiAffiliated withCenter for the Study of Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University Email author 

Abstract

Abduction and metaphor are two significant concepts in cognitive science. It is found that the both mental processes are on the basis of certain similarity. The similarity inspires us to seek the answers to the following two questions: (1) Whether there is a common cognitive mechanism behind abduction and metaphor? And (2) if there is, whether this common mechanism could be interpreted within the unified frame of modern intelligence theory? Centering on these two issues, the paper attempts to characterize and interpret the generation and evolution of scientific metaphors from the perspective of the cognitive mechanism of abductive inference. Then it interprets the common cognitive mechanism behind abduction and metaphor within Hawkins’ frame of intelligence theory. The commonality between abduction and metaphor indicates the potential to further explore human intelligence.

Keywords

abduction metaphor common cognitive mechanism memory-prediction