Creation as reconfiguration: Art in the advancement of science

Cognitive advancement is not always a matter of acquiring new information. It often consists in reconfiguration--in reorganizing a domain so that hitherto overlooked or underemphasized features, patterns, opportunities, and resources come to light. Several modes of reconfiguration prominent in the arts--metaphor, fiction, exemplification, and perspective--play important roles in science as well. They do not perform the same roles as literal, descriptive, perspectiveless scientific truths. But to understand how science advances understanding, we need to appreciate the ineliminable cognitive contributions of non-literal, non-descriptive symbols.
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DOI 10.1080/02698590120118792
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Catherine Elgin (1996). Considered Judgment. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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