2 Aug

The Necessity of Metaphor

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 08/02/06

On Volume 51 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, Mary Midgley discussed the connections between science and poetry. A recent article in The Toronto Star echoes Midgley's words, attending to the use of metaphor and analogy in science and mathematics. In "It's like this, you see," author Siobhan Roberts writes, "Casual inquiry reveals that metaphor, and its more common cousin analogy, are tools that are just as important to scientists investigating truths of the physical world as they are to poets explaining existential conundrums through verse. . . . Both are seeking 'the truth of the matter,' . . . ." Roberts provides several examples of scientists who put analogies to use in their work. Roberts also explains why poetic language is so useful in these scientific fields. [Posted August 2006, ALG]