Towards a metaphorical biology

Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):279-294 (1992)

Abstract
The metaphorical nature of biological language is examined and the use of metaphors for providing the linguistic context in which similarities and differences are made is described. Certain pervasive metaphors which are characterised by systemic properties are noted, and in order to provide some focus to the study, systemic metaphors associated with machine, text and organism are discussed. Other systemic metaphors such as society and circuit are also reported. Some details concerning interrelations between automaton and organism are presented in the light of the previous discussion.An approach towards the analysis of biosystem metaphors is outlined which relates part-whole, organisational level and systemic metaphors in a single model. Examples are provided throughout the discussion and mainly come from computing. The potential for metaphorical transfers between these domains is considered.
Keywords Computing  metaphor  models  systemic metaphors
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DOI 10.1007/BF00129971
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Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (2):208-210.
Structuralism.Jean Piaget - 1970 - New York: Basic Books.

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