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  • Author or Editor: Geraldine W. van Rijn-van Tongeren x
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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.