An alternative View for Scientific Models Based on Metaphors: a case analysis from Darwin's use of metaphors


  • Deivide Garcia da Silva Oliveira Federal University of Recôncavo of Bahia (UFRB), BRAZIL



Local realism, metaphor approach, Darwin’s models, deliberate distortions, powerful Being


This paper aims to offer an alternative view for understanding scientific models based on metaphors. To accomplish this, we employ a special case of Darwin’s use of metaphors, such as the notion of powerful Being, in order to represent natural selection. Our proposal contributes to issues in the literature of scientific model, such as imprecisions in the understanding of scientific models, especially in models based on metaphors. Thus, our alternative view of models based on metaphors, and inspired by Darwin’s use of metaphors, provides us with four features, a-simplification and selection; b-articulation of familiar-unfamiliar structures; c-accessibility and moderations of complexity, and finally d-local realism. We contrast these features with Darwin’s use of a metaphors. We conclude by saying that our proposal of metaphor’s approach of models does not only contribute to the clarification of how these types of scientific models can be understood but it shows that metaphors can also contain a realist element that explains why scientists often use it in their practices of modeling the world.


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