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I am having a hard time understanding the difference (if any) between 'analogous to' and 'similar to'. Take for instance these two sentences:

High level cognition is performed in a way analogous to symbolic computation.

and

High level cognition is performed in a way similar to symbolic computation.

  • Though a good reference might be hard to find in this instance, some evidence of (even unfruitful) relevant research is expected on ELU. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 6 '17 at 8:14
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There is a discussion of analogy and similarity (and other terms referring to alikeness here at M-W. The gist is this:

Similar refers to things that are somewhat alike, and those characteristics that are alike are the same in a direct comparison. For example, you might use "similar" to describe how a man had a remarkable likeness to his father.

Analogous refers to parallelism or correspondence. For example, the heart is analogous to a pump, or an airplane's joystick is somewhat analogous to the reins on a horse.

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