David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine Studies 2 (4):229-244 (2011)
Purpose With the increasing sophistication of neuroimaging technologies in medicine, new language is being sought to make sense of the findings. The aim of this paper is to explore whether the brain-reading metaphor used to convey current medical or neurobiological findings imports unintended significations that do not necessarily reflect the genuine findings made by physicians and neuroscientists. Methods First, the paper surveys the ambiguities of the readability metaphor, drawing from the history of science and medicine, paying special attention to the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Next, the paper addresses more closely the issue of how metaphors may be confusing when used in medicine in general, and neuroscience in particular. The paper then explores the possible misleading effects associated with the contemporary use of the brain-reading metaphor in neuroimaging research. Results Rather than breaking new ground, what we see in current scientific language is a persistence of both a constraining and expansive set of language practices forming a relatively continuous tradition linking current neuroimaging to past scientific investigations into the brain. Conclusions The use of the readability metaphor thus carries with it both positive and negative effects. Physicians and neuroscientists must resort to the use of terms already laden with abstracted meanings, and often burdened by tradition, at the risk of importing through these words connotations that do not tally with the sought-after objectivity of empirical science
|Keywords||Brain Medical imaging Metaphor Neuroimaging Brain reading|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Tobias Cheung (2010). Omnis Fibra Ex Fibra : Fibre Economies in Bonnet's and Diderot's Models of Organic Order. In , Transitions and Borders Between Animals, Humans, and Machines, 1600-1800. Brill. 66-104.
Lorraine Daston (2007). Objectivity. Distributed by the Mit Press.
Andrew Fenton, Letitia Meynell & Françoise Baylis (2009). Ethical Challenges and Interpretive Difficulties with Non-Clinical Applications of Pediatric fMRI. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (1):3-13.
Michel Foucault (1994). The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Vintage Books.
Michael Friedman (2002). Kant, Kuhn, and the Rationality of Science. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):171-90.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert C. Robinson (2011). Causation as Metaphor. Rupkatha Journal On Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities 3 (1):181—190.
Samuel D. Guttenplan (2005). Objects of Metaphor. Oxford University Press.
Neil Pickering (1999). Metaphors and Models in Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (4):361-375.
Daniel Vázquez (2010). Metáfora y analogía en Aristóteles. Su distinción y uso en la ciencia y la filosofía. Tópicos, Revista de Filosofía (38):85-116.
Neil Pickering (2006). The Metaphor of Mental Illness. Oxford University Press.
Jakub Mácha (2011). Metaphor in the Twilight Area Between Philosophy and Linguistics. In P. Stalmaszczyk & K. Kosecki (eds.), Turning Points in the Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Peter Lang. 159--169.
Marga Reimer & Elisabeth Camp (2006). Metaphor. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oup Oxford.
Camilo J. Cela-Conde & Gisèle Marty (1997). Mind Architecture and Brain Architecture. Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):327-340.
Daniel Rothbart (1984). The Semantics of Metaphor and the Structure of Science. Philosophy of Science 51 (4):595-615.
Raymond W. Gibbs Jr & Markus Tendahl (2006). Cognitive Effort and Effects in Metaphor Comprehension: Relevance Theory and Psycholinguistics. Mind and Language 21 (3):379–403.
Sun-Ah Kang (2008). Pictorial Metaphor. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 1:121-127.
Added to index2010-12-05
Total downloads21 ( #78,438 of 1,096,811 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #53,739 of 1,096,811 )
How can I increase my downloads?