The methodological significance of scientific metaphor

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (3):437-453 (2007)
Abstract
The essential significance of scientific metaphor lies in applying the general metaphorical theory to specific interpretations and elaborations of scientific theories to form a methodology of scientific explanation. It is a contextual grasp of objective reality. A given metaphorical context and its grasp of the essence of reality can only be valid when the context is continually restructured. Taking the context as a whole, the methodological characteristic of scientific metaphor lies in the unity of understanding and choice, experience and concepts, semantic structures and metaphorical domains, rationality and irrationality. As a form of thinking based on reasons, scientific metaphor plays an important role in invention, representation, explanation, evaluation, and communication.
Keywords metaphor  scientific theory  scientific explanation  context  methodology  隐喻  科学理论  科学解释  语境  方法论
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