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Monday, January 02, 2012

The Power of Metaphors

"Hell is full of musical amateurs." - George Bernard Shaw


"In the academy, violent metaphors are found in science, philosophy, and education, as well as in many other disciplines that are not discussed in this chapter. The metaphors are frequently bolstered by images of sexual domination, especially in science, where nature is often regarded as something female that the male scientist sets out to conquer and dominate... the centrality of these violent metaphors in both academic and ordinary discourse is problematic, and that if we were to alter our ways of thinking and switch to more cooperative, nurturant metaphors (such as those of needle work), there might be beneficial effects both for scholarship and for human relations.

We would be foolish to underestimate the power of metaphor... Metaphors themselves [are] central to the shape and growth of meaning. Hence the metaphors that survive and flourish will become 'organizing element(s) in inquiry' (Fernandez 1977, 101); as such, they will come to exert powerful influence not only on the perception of what counts as a good solution to a problem but also on the logically prior perception of what constitutes a problem in the first place (Schön 1979, 255)"

--- The moral parameters of good talk: a feminist analysis / Maryann Ayim
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