Article ID: CBB255233612

Creating a ‘gestalt shift’ in evolutionary science: Roles for metaphor in the conceptual landscape of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) (2020)


The role of novel metaphors, analogies and figurative devices in generating new frameworks for thought and guiding new scientific discoveries has been one of Evelyn Fox Keller’s important contributions to our understanding of the development of genetics in the twentieth century. Here we explore metaphors that are used in the construction of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES), a theoretical framework that is still very much in the making. The EES challenges mainstream gene-based, ‘Modern Synthesis’ versions of evolutionary theory and calls for a development- and organism-oriented view of heredity and evolution. We show that at the current unstable and dynamic stage of its construction, the metaphors and analogies that are put forward by advocates of the EES play an important role in defining its boundaries, scope and ambitions, while the aesthetic and ambiguous aspects of these same metaphors are used by opponents to undermine the scientific value of the EES.

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Article Willard McCarty (2020) Editorial, Making Sense of Metaphor: Evelyn Fox Keller and Commentators on Language and Science. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (pp. 233-233). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Echeverria, Begona
Huneman, Philippe
Depew, David J.
Smocovitis, Vassiliki Betty
Zachos, Frank E.
Hossfeld, Uwe
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Science, Technology and Human Values
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Studies in History of Biology
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
University of California, Riverside
Cambridge University Press
Yale University Press
University of Toronto
Oxford University Press
Modern Synthesis (biology)
Communication of scientific ideas
Boundary work
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Darwin, Charles Robert
Dobzhansky, Theodosius
Remane, Adolf
Glass, Bentley
Müller, Hermann Joseph
Stebbins, George Ledyard
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
19th century
United States
Arabian peninsula
Great Britain
Gulf Cooperation Council

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