Chapter

How to Criticize a Metaphor

in Borrowed Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226429786
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226429809 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226429809.003.0006
How to Criticize a Metaphor

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This chapter focuses on evaluating metaphorical borrowings in order to argue that there are better and worse ways to use scientific knowledge in other fields. It begins by discussing the importance of paying critical attention to metaphorical uses, and then develops a set of four criteria for this evaluative task. These criteria include how well the metaphorical use fits the source field, how useful it is for accomplishing its cognitive function, how much it fulfills a genuine need, and how much critical self-awareness the author of the metaphor displays. By providing concrete examples of how to use these criteria to evaluate a number of metaphorical borrowings from chaos theory, the chapter demonstrates that such evaluation is both possible and worthwhile.

Keywords: metaphorical borrowings; scientific knowledge; metaphorical use; chaos theory

Chapter.  11388 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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