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Keywords:

  • Analogical learning;
  • Cognitive development;
  • Structure-mapping;
  • Language and cognition;
  • Bootstrapping

Abstract

Human cognition is striking in its brilliance and its adaptability. How do we get that way? How do we move from the nearly helpless state of infants to the cognitive proficiency that characterizes adults? In this paper I argue, first, that analogical ability is the key factor in our prodigious capacity, and, second, that possession of a symbol system is crucial to the full expression of analogical ability.