Metafore migranti e crescita della comunità scientifica: il caso dei paesaggi evolutivi

Author/s Emanuele Serrelli
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/31 Language Italian
Pages 14 P. 115-128 File size 206 KB
DOI 10.3280/EDS2019-031010
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Migrant metaphors and growth of the scientific community: The case of evolutionary land-scapes. For several decades now, important and in-depth studies have analyzed scientific metaphors, trying for example to determine a principled distinction between metaphors and models. Not a simple task. Several epistemological features are shared between the two. When some distinction is made, metaphors are sometimes seen as preliminary to exact and rigorous mathematical models. In this article I focus on one and only metaphor of biology: evolutionary landscapes. I describe its role in the development of evolutionary science, mov-ing from its success in several fields in the 1930s and ’40s to deepening its origin in the con-text of population genetics. By drawing a distinction between native and migrant metaphor, I provide some elements of reflection on the value of metaphor as a generator of common lan-guage between separated scientific fields, and as a tool for understanding models. In this way I also suggest overcoming the model vs. metaphor opposition, especially the idea that meta-phors are a more rudimental knowledge tool than models.

Keywords: Model, metaphor, scientific language, evolution, adaptive landscape.

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Emanuele Serrelli, Metafore migranti e crescita della comunità scientifica: il caso dei paesaggi evolutivi in "EDUCAZIONE SENTIMENTALE" 31/2019, pp 115-128, DOI: 10.3280/EDS2019-031010