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Edited by Herbert Rowland

The present volume is the first to address the interrelationship between Goethe’s scientific thought and work, his ideas on art and literary oeuvre, and chaos and complexity theories. The eleven studies assembled in it treat one or more elements or aspects of this interrelationship, ranging from basic concepts all the way to a model of an aesthetic-scientific methodology. In the process, the authors scrutinize chaos and complexity both as motif and motor of literary texts and nature within various contexts of past and present. The volume should be of interest to literary scholars, scientists, and philosophers of science, indeed, to all those who are interested in the continuities between the humanities and sciences, culture and nature.


Geraldine W. van Rijn-van Tongeren

This book claims that metaphors must be seen as indispensable cognitive and communicative instruments in medical science. Analysis of texts taken from recently published medical handbooks reveals what kind of metaphors are used to structure certain medical concepts and what the functions are of the metaphorical expressions in the texts. Special attention is drawn to the idea that scientific facts do not originate from passive observation of reality. Imaginative thinking and the use of metaphors are required to make the unknown accessible to us. Yet, although metaphors are often a sine qua non for the genesis of a scientific fact, they may also inhibit the development of alternative views. This is due to the fact that metaphors always highlight certain aspects of a phenomenon while other aspects remain obscured. Analysis of the metaphors used in medical texts may reveal exactly which aspects are highlighted and which remain hidden and may thus help to find alternative metaphors (and possibly therapies) when current metaphors are no longer adequate. This book should be of interest not only to linguists, translators and researchers working in the field of intercultural communication, but also to doctors and medical scientists, and those interested in the philosophy of science.