Metaphor in Chemistry: An Examination of Chemical Metaphor

Farzad Mahootian
Fordham University (PhD)
The function of metaphor in science has been labeled as decorative, persuasive, heuristic, instrumental, facilitating or obstructing. It has sometimes been regarded as inspiring, provoking, perverting or destroying rational thought. Metaphor’s positive role has been noted by philosophers, historians of chemistry, and science education researchers. It has been hailed as a descriptive and explanatory device that stimulates and shapes concept development. I discuss how metaphor functions in science generally, then refine this idea through an examination metaphor’s role in chemical thinking in three contexts: the history and philosophy of chemistry, laboratory research practice, and chemical education. I aim to show how metaphor is already operative in the chemist’s use of the concept of chemical element and that this understanding characterizes chemical thinking in general. The chapter concludes with a discussion of a specifically chemical understanding of metaphor.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,238
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Objects of Metaphor.Samuel Guttenplan - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Metaphor as Apropriation.Nick Zangwill - 2014 - Philosophy and Literature 38 (1):142-152.
Klein on the Origin of the Concept of Chemical Compound.Alan Chalmers - 2012 - Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):37-53.
Why Take Chemistry Stoically? The Case of Posidonius.Ernesto Paparazzo - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):63-75.
Pictorial Metaphor.Sun-Ah Kang - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 1:121-127.
Metaphor and Film.Trevor Whittock - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #460,844 of 2,285,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #835,767 of 2,285,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature