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Metaphor and Knowledge
The Challenges of Writing Science
Metaphor and Knowledge
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Ken Baake - Author
Stephen A. Bernhardt - Foreword by
SUNY series, Studies in Scientific and Technical Communication
Price: $65.50 
Hardcover - 255 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5743-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5743-6

Quantity:  
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 255 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5744-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5744-3

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Analyzing the power of metaphor in the rhetoric of science, this book examines the use of words to express complex scientific concepts.

Metaphor and Knowledge
offers a sweeping history of rhetoric and metaphor in science, delving into questions about how language constitutes knowledge. Weaving together insights from a group of scientists at the Santa Fe Institute as they shape the new interdisciplinary field of complexity science, Ken Baake shows the difficulty of writing science when word meanings are unsettled, and he analyzes the power of metaphor in science.

"A real glory in this book is Baake's engaging presentation. . . He is able to write in ways that engage and propel the reader along on a highly enjoyable excursion. . . The text is populated with the voices and perspectives of his subjects, always showing them [to be] thoughtful and complex, even as they take diametrically opposed positions." — from the Foreword by Stephen A. Bernhardt

"Whenever scientists are involved in interdisciplinary projects to simulate phenomena of complex physico-chemical, biotic, or socio-economic systems, they are bound to face communication problems while applying basic disciplinary terms and using metaphors for their conceptual models. The situation at Santa Fe Institute given here is representative for any science research group working on the 'frontier.'" — Charlotte Kaempf, University of Karlsruhe

"The concept of metaphor harmonics represents an original and productive way of thinking. These and a number of other findings and concepts are likely to make a big splash. No books address the problem of metaphor in the rhetoric of science quite like this one." — M. Jimmie Killingsworth, coauthor of Information in Action: A Guide to Technical Communication, Second Edition

Ken Baake is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Texas Tech University.


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Table of Contents

FOREWORD

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1. INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM WITH "RULES" AND WHY WORDS WILL NOT SIT STILL

Harmonics: Using Music Theory to Explain How Metaphor Works in Science
Structure of the Book
What Is the Santa Fe Institute?

2. A TECHNICAL WRITER AT THE THINK TANK

Establishing Ethos With an "Initial Impressions" Report
A Technical Writer's Balancing Act: Capture the Excitement of Research, but Avoid Hype
Writing for the Institute's Bulletin: What Happens When Technical Writers Cannot Find Their Bearings Toward an Audience

3. METAPHOR: CONSTITUTING OR DECORATING THEORY IN SCIENCE

Rhetoric at the SFI: A Qualified Acceptance
The Meaning of Metaphor
Metaphors in Motion: How They Work
Metaphor and Science
Fear of Persuasion and Metaphoric Harmonics
Rhetorical Alternatives to Metaphor in Science

4. METAPHORS AND MATHEMATICS: A SHARED TRADITION OF CONSTITUTING KNOWLEDGE IN SCIENCE

The Metaphors of Information as the New Materiality
Representing Reality
Platonic Arguments for the Supremacy of Mathematics
Metaphor for Understanding a Non-Algorithmic World
Making Sloppy Ideas Rigorous
No Rational Method of Having Good Ideas
SFI Metaphors as Theory Constitutive or Literary? A Tale of Two Terms1
Metaphor Harmonics: Who Intends the Bee to Be Yellow?
Metaphor Harmonics: Emergence, the Brain, and Neural Networks
Equilibrium and the Prisoner's Dilemma

5. SCIENCE WRITERS LOOKING FOR THEIR AUDIENCE

Style and Eloquence in SFI Writing
A Matter of Invention: Writing for Scientists and the General Public
Incommensurability: Trying to Cross Disciplines

6. "COMPLEXITY": AN ETYMOLOGY LEADING TO A DISCUSSION OF WHETHER IT IS A METAPHOR OR SOMETHING ELSE

The Word "Complex" in the Oxford English Dictionary
"Complexity" Arrives in Santa Fe
The New "Complexity" Returns to Old Haunts
Is "Complexity" a Metaphor?

7. MANAGING METAPHOR HARMONICS AND OTHER CHALLENGES OF MAKING KNOWLEDGE IN SCIENCE

Speak Carefully and Carry a Paradigm Shift

WORKS CITED

INDEX



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