Analogy & Metaphor: An Idiosyncratic Introduction

27 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2011 Last revised: 31 May 2014

Date Written: April 7, 2011


This essay is an idiosyncratic introduction to analogy and metaphor. It was previously posted in two parts respectively at the Ratio Juris and The Literary Table blogs by way of an introduction to my online bibliography at Ratio Juris for analogy and metaphor. The notes immediately follow each essay, and a list of “references and further reading” is appended to the end of the paper. The section on analogy is intended in part to provoke the interest of legal theorists, while the second half, on metaphor, is aimed at a broader audience although I hope it too will be of interest to legal theorists and philosophers of law. Both pieces no doubt betray their origins in blog posts, hence they are considerably less than polished, but comments to date were generous enough for me to make the inference that they deserve to be made more widely available.

Keywords: analogy, metaphor, analogical reasoning, precedent, cognitive science, pragmatics, semantics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind

Suggested Citation

O'Donnell, Patrick S., Analogy & Metaphor: An Idiosyncratic Introduction (April 7, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Patrick S. O'Donnell (Contact Author)

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