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1st Edition

Large Type Edition
Large Type Edition

ISBN 9780415434409
Published March 29, 2017 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Examination of the work of scientific icons-Newton, Descartes, and others-reveals the metaphors and analogies that directed their research and explain their discoveries. Today, scientists tend to balk at the idea of their writing as rhetorical, much less metaphorical. How did this schism over metaphor occur in the scientific community? To establish that scientists should use metaphors to explain science to the public and need to be conscious of how metaphor can be useful to their research, this book examines the controversy over cloning and the lack of a metaphor to explain it to a public fearful of science's power.The disjunction between metaphor and science is traced to the dispensation of the Solar System Analogy in favor of a mathematical model. Arguing that mathematics is metaphorical, the author supports the idea of all language as metaphorical-unlike many rhetoricians and philosophers of science who have proclaimed all language as metaphorical but have allowed a distinction between a metaphorical use of language and a literal use.For technical communication pedagogy, the implications of this study suggest foregrounding metaphor in textbooks and in the classroom. Though many technical communication textbooks recommend metaphor as a rhetorical strategy, some advise avoiding it, and those that recommend it usually do so in a paragraph or two, with little direction for students on how to recognize metaphors or to how use them. This book provides the impetus for a change in the pedagogical approach to metaphor as a rhetorical tool with epistemological significance.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Problem of Metaphor in Scientific and Technical Communication
 Differentiating between Scientific and Technical Communication
 Metaphor and Analogy
 Summary of Chapters

Chapter One: Reintroducing Metaphor in the Technical Communication Classroom
 Some General Considerations of Metaphor
 Technical Communication Textbooks
 Science Writing Texts

Chapter Two: Metaphor in the Technical Communication Literature
 Metaphor and the Computer
 Technical Communication Theory
 Technical Communication Pedagogy

Chapter Three: A Review of the Theories of Metaphor
 Substitution Theory of Metaphor
 Aristotle on Metaphor
 Twentieth-Century Substitutionists
 Nietzsche and Post-Modern Metaphor
 The Tensionists: An Introduction to Interaction
 The Interactionists
 Metaphor as Epistemology

Chapter Four: The Metaphor of Mathematics: A Case Study of the Solar System Analogy
 Scottish Natural Philosophy
 Lodge and the BAAS
 The Solar System Analogy
 The Solar System Analogy in Secondary-School Texts
 A Narrative History of the Solar System Analogy
 Lord Kelvin
 James Clerk Maxwell
 J. J. Thomson
 Oliver Lodge
 Ernest Rutherford
 Niels Bohr

Chapter Five: The Question of Metaphor in Natural Language: A Case Study
 The Question of Cloning
 Recognition of the Dominant/Emergent Metaphors
 The Effect Upon the Scientific Community

Chapter Six: Implications
 An Approach Based on this Study
 Other Avenues for Research



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