Analogies

Aristotle

The use of analogies and metaphors can be a valuable tool in stimulating creativity, both in problem definition and problem solving. Einstein often used these techniques as a way to visualize and solve problems. The development of the analogies/metaphors creativity technique is generally credited to de Bono (1970). However, Aristotle spoke of the value of metaphor almost 2,200 years ago: ‘Now strange words simply puzzle us; ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best find something fresh.’ An analogy is a similarity between two things and the strange familiar.’ By the use of analogies, an individual or group can often find a new insight and approach to the nature of a problem and thus its resolution.

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