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- Jan 2022
One of these tools was the so-called Indice Categorico designed by Emanu-ele Tesauro. Tesauro displayed it as a ‘secret truly secret’ (‘secreto veramente secreto’), that is, as a truly valuable invention. According to Tesauro,72 the matter was to discover topics that were hidden behind several different cat-egories and to compare them to each other (‘penetrar gli obietti altamente ap-piattati sotto diverse Categorie, e di riscontrarli tra loro’) to discover analogies and similarities that would have otherwise been overlooked if everything had been preserved under its own category (‘scovare analogie e somiglianze che sarebbero passate inosservate se ogni cosa fosse rimasta classificata sotto la propria Categoria’). The cognitive device used to achieve this purpose was the metaphor. By listing topics in a jumbled manner under a certain category ac-cording to some similarity in meaning among them, it was possible to produce unexpected results. In short, it was possible to discover something new.
72 Emanuele Tesauro, Il Cannocchiale aristotelico, 5th ed. (Venice, 1669), 83. On this inven-tion, see also Umberto Eco, Dall’albero al labirinto. Studi storici sul segno e l’interpretazione (Milan, 2007), 45–7.
Emanuele Tesaurio's Indice Categorico was a tool for thought which aimed to discover new information by using metaphors and analogies with respect to the categories or taxonomies so as to draw links between them.