Analogical Information Processing within Scientific Metaphors

  • Daniel Rothbart
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 197)


The thesis for the epistemic indispensability of scientific metaphor has no shortage of proponents.1 Scientific metaphors are linked to concept formation,2 scientific explanation,3 theoretical confirmation,4 and scientific models.5 All of these proclamations assume a linguistic conception of scientific theory, which focuses on systems of statements as the product of inquiry. Yet few advocates of scientific metaphor explicitly address metaphor’s value from a problem solving orientation to science. The view that scientific inquiry reduces to the formulation and resolution of problems avoids the artificial and rigid picture suggested by the linguistic conception of science, at least according to many philosophers.6 But in what respects, if any, is the structure of scientific problem solving indispensably metaphoric? To my knowledge no advocate of scientific metaphor addresses this question in detail.


Semantic Feature Scientific Problem Conceptual Problem Solution Path Primary Subject 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Rothbart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyGeorge Mason UniversityUSA

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