Analogical Reasoning and Conceptual Change: A Case Study of Johannes Kepler

Dedre Gentner, Sarah Brem, Ronald W. Ferguson, Arthur B. Markman, Björn B. Levidow, Phillip Wolff, Kenneth D. Forbus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


The work of Johannes Kepler offers clear examples of conceptual change. In this article, using Kepler's work as a case study, we argue that analogical reasoning facilitates change of knowledge in four ways: (a) highlighting, (b) projection, (c) rerepresentation, and (d) restructuring. We present these four mechanisms within the context of structure-mapping theory and its computational implementation, the structure-mapping engine. We exemplify these mechanisms using the extended analogies Kepler used in developing a causal theory of planetary motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-40
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of the Learning Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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