- March 8, 2023
- 15:00 - 16:30
Celso Alves Neto (University of Exeter), 'Metaphors in Science: The case of “Scaffolding”'
This talk concerns the value of metaphors in science, focusing on the metaphorical use of “scaffolding”. This use has been gaining prominence recently in evolutionary biology, so much so that philosophers attempt to give it a precise definition. In contrast, I examine how the metaphor plays an important role in scientific explanations regardless of whether a precise definition is achievable. First, I trace connections between the use of the scaffolding metaphor in evolutionary biology and developmental psychology. Second, I identify a specific type of explanatory strategy (“scaffolding explanations”) related to that metaphor in both fields. Scaffolding explanations are a particular version of causal explanation due to certain unusual causal features of the metaphor. Hence, my analysis suggests that metaphors can determine specific types of scientific explanation. Moreover, as the same metaphor spreads from one field to another, the same explanatory strategy can also spread.Contact Suzanne Whitten (firstname.lastname@example.org) for link.
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
- Add to calendar
|Name||Dr Suzanne Whitten|