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Diagrammatic, analogical or iconic representations are often contrasted with linguistic or logical representations, in which the shape of the symbols is arbitrary. The aim of this paper is to make a case for the usefulness of diagrams in inferential knowledge representation systems. Although commonly used, diagrams have for a long time suffered from the reputation of being only a heuristic tool or a mere support for intuition. The first part of this paper is an historical background paying tribute to the logicians, psychologists and computer scientists who put an end to this formal prejudice against diagrams. The second part is a discussion of their characteristics as opposed to those of linguistic forms. The last part is aimed at reviving the interest for heterogeneous representation systems including both linguistic and diagrammatic representations.
Pour citer cet article :Recanati Catherine (2005/1). Reasoning with diagrams: cognitive and computational perspectives. In Regular papers (Eds), Intellectica: issue 40, Intellectica, 40, (pp.9-42), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1357.