Models, analogies, and metaphors in scientific investigation


  • Luiz Henrique de Araújo Dutra


This paper discusses the interaction view of metaphors proposed by Max Black and intended to criticise the view Black calls comparative, which, according to him, goes back to Aristotle and is based on the distinction between literal and metaphorical meanings of a term, the latter being supposed to be dependent on the former one. Black analyses metaphorical statements and argues that the use of metaphors alters the meaning of both terms used in the comparison. Considering the relation Black himself establishes between the use of metaphors and the use of models in the sciences, I try to criticise his interaction view and argue that although not absolutely but pragmatically, the concepts of literal and metaphorical meanings of a term must be preserved, since otherwise we would not even be able to understand metaphors as episodes of speech.

Key words: Max Black, interaction view, metaphors, models.