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Metaphor in Chemistry: An Examination of Chemical Metaphor

Mahootian, Farzad (2015) Metaphor in Chemistry: An Examination of Chemical Metaphor. Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science 306). pp. 121-139.

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Abstract

The function of metaphor in science has been labeled as decorative, persuasive, heuristic, instrumental, facilitating or obstructing. It has sometimes been regarded as inspiring, provoking, perverting or destroying rational thought. Metaphor’s positive role has been noted by philosophers, historians of chemistry, and science education researchers. It has been hailed as a descriptive and explanatory device that stimulates and shapes concept development. I discuss how metaphor functions in science generally, then refine this idea through an examination metaphor’s role in chemical thinking in three contexts: the history and philosophy of chemistry, laboratory research practice, and chemical education. I aim to show how metaphor is already operative in the chemist’s use of the concept of chemical element and that this understanding characterizes chemical thinking in general. The chapter concludes with a discussion of a specifically chemical understanding of metaphor.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Mahootian, Farzadfm57@nyu.edu
Additional Information: Ch.9 in Scerri, E., L. McIntyre, (Eds.) Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline, Springer: Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science #306. pp. 121-139.
Keywords: metaphor, chemistry, philosophy of chemistry
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science Education
Depositing User: Dr Farzad Mahootian
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2015 22:16
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2015 22:16
Item ID: 11615
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science 306)
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/978-94-017-9364-3_9
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science Education
Date: 2015
Page Range: pp. 121-139
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11615

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