Date of Award
Master of Arts
Helen Rothschild Ewald
For centuries both philosophers of science and scientists have challenged the use of metaphor in scientific discourse (Hoffman, 1980a,b), but a close look at this discourse reveals metaphor as a vital and necessary tool in developing scientific terminologies and hypotheses.
I will begin my examination of metaphor in scientific discourse, with definitions: Simply put, metaphor is an implicit analogy of two unlike things. I.A. Richards (1936) refers to these two unlike parts of the metaphor as the "tenor," the primary subject, or the thing being described, and the "vehicle," which is the secondary subject or what the primary subject is being compared with. For example, in the metaphor "the moon is a pumpkin," moon is the tenor (primary subject), and pumpkin is the vehicle (secondary subject).
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Shellie Jo Robson
May 8, 2013
Robson, Shellie Jo, "The use of metaphor in scientific writing" (1985). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 48.