, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 437-453

The methodological significance of scientific metaphor

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.

摘要

科学隐喻的本质意义在于将一般的隐喻理论应用于科学理论的具体解释和说明中, 由此形成一种科学解释的方法论思想。 它是对客观实在的一种语境化把握, 只有语境的不断重构, 才能给定隐喻语境的存在及其把握实在本质的有效性。 科学隐喻的方法论特征表现为: 理解与选择、 经验与概念、 语义结构与隐喻域、 理性与非理性的统一。 作为一种有理由推理的思维形式, 科学隐喻具有发明、 表征、 说明、 评价及交流等方面的重要功能。

Translated by Liu Yiyu from Zhongguo Shehui Kexue 中国社会科学 (Social Sciences in China), 2004, (2): 92–101