Many times we use hypothetical analogies to make a difference more clear. For example suppose we have John and George and John is faster than George. We can say if John and George were vehicles , John woulde be ferrari and George a bike. But what this hypothesis means ? We should represent John as a car or the "word" John as car ?

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    Grammar matters. We can represent John with a car. The analogy presents John as a car. In both cases, the name "John" refers to the actual person, as does the analogous "car" descriptor.
    – MmmHmm
    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:36

2 Answers 2


The logical form of the statement is :

With respect to speed, J : G :: F : B

In other words, John's ratio of speed to George's is identical to the ratio of a Ferrari's speed to a bike's.

This statement is likely to be false but that, I suggest, is its logical form.


The use of words depends not just on meaning but also on context. If the brand Ferrari would make a type of car called John and a brand bike would make a type of bike called George, then John represents a car. If we would give Aliens 50 cars of this type and say these Johns are gifts for their leaders fifty universes away, you can bet on it that the word for car there may well be John or Johns.

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