Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge

Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge

Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge

Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge

Synopsis

This book opens up a new route to the study of knowledge dynamics and the sociology of knowledge. The focus is on the role of metaphors as powerful catalysts and the book dissects their role in the construction of theories of knowledge. It is of vital interest to social and cognitive scientists alike.

Excerpt

The issue of knowledge dynamics in society has concerned us for several years now, more precisely, the concern has been to find a way to analyse singular instances of knowledge dynamics. In this project we are neither the first ones nor alone: Apart from classical approaches in the realms of the sociology of knowledge, sociology of science and history of ideas, other accounts have appeared that explicitly focus on the career of individual concepts, such as Begriffsgeschichte, or even more recently, sociology of concept formation. In this book we advance a metaphor based view of knowledge dynamics.

Early in this endeavour we profited from our acquaintance with Jim Bono who gave us intellectual stimulation and encouragement to continue our work in this area. For this, we express our sincere gratitude to him. This book has been preceded by several programmatic articles and case studies in which we, step by step, elaborated the theory, method, and applications of our version of metaphor analysis. Portions of these appear in the chapters to come, though in an edited and updated fashion. In preparing this study we have had the invaluable assistance of two colleagues who we wish to thank from the bottom of our hearts: Matthias Winterhager, who advised us with and performed all bibliometrical researches, and Lilo Jegerlehner, who turned messy text into immaculate manuscript.

March 2000 SABINE MAASEN AND PETER WEINGART

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