„Rebellious Cell”:  Metaphors in the Language of Biology Cover Image

Zbuntowana komórka – metafory w języku biologii
„Rebellious Cell”: Metaphors in the Language of Biology

Author(s): Magdalena Zawisławska
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Summary/Abstract: The search for metaphors in the language of science might seem at first sight to be a little contradictory. Usually a scientific style makes one think of logic, exactness, comprehensiveness and restriction, while metaphor is a denial of all those things. Yet when one becomes absorbed in the field of science, it gets obvious that metaphor plays a fundamental role in a scientific research as an instrument which helps to fill gaps in vocabulary and as a teaching aid. What is most important – metaphor has an ontological function. It means that metaphor plays a constitutive role in concept formation in scientific thought. The main goal of the article is to analyze selected metaphors in the language of biology, e.g. ORGANISM IS ENTERPRISE, BRAIN IS COMPUTER, DNA IS PLAN, CELL IS MACHINE, etc. I believe that the language of natural science can be very valuable in the analysis of a metaphor as it deals with objects which are imaginary for humans. We cannot see the real structure of DNA or chromosome, but we have to put it somehow into words – and out of necessity they are metaphorical.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 71-91
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Polish