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The Art of Scientific Metaphors

The Art of Scientific Metaphors

Susan Haack, “The Art of Scientific Metaphors,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 75, no. 4 (2019): 2049–66,

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  • The Art of Scientific Metaphors

    Type Journal Article
    Author Susan Haack
    Volume 75
    Issue 4
    Pages 2049-2066
    Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
    ISSN 0870-5231
    Date 2019
    Language English
    Abstract Metaphor has no place in science, some claim; no, others argue, metaphor is crucial to science. Science is a rational enterprise with its own distinctive logical structure; no, it isn’t essentially different from literature, equally a kind of world-making. There is a distinctive metaphorical kind of meaning; no, metaphorical utterances have only their literal meanings, in which they are just plain false. Conspicuous by its absence is the reasonable middle ground Haack will be mapping here. Metaphor is useful, but not essential, to scientific work; metaphors don’t have a special kind of meaning, but they do have a special pragmatic role; scientific work and the writing of fiction do have important things in common, but there are also significant differences between the two enterprises. Once we understand how science works (§1), and then how metaphors work (§2), we can articulate the similarities, and differences, between scientific metaphors and literary ones (§3).
    Short Title RPF
    Date Added 1/28/2020, 4:32:31 PM
    Modified 1/28/2020, 5:17:55 PM


    • imagination,
    • imaginative literature,
    • inquiry,
    • metaphor,
    • science,
    • writing


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