Explaining the Growth of Scientific Knowledge Metaphors, Models, and Meanings

Author: Rothbart, Daniel
This study explains scientific progress through analogical cross-fertilization of ideas between distinct physical systems. In many cases progress can be generated from a radically new juxtaposition of apparently incongruous physical systems, producing original horizons of intellectual vision. The work will be of interest to philosophers who examine issues related to the study of metaphor and analogy, and those who study the conditions and limits of scientific knowledge, the relationship between instrumental findings and theoretical progress, and the realism/antirealism debate.


"In this brilliant study Daniel Rothbart presents the reader with the most thorough and comprehensive overview yet of the role of models and metaphors in science. At the heart of the book is an original and ground-breaking study of the interrelations between model building and the design of experimental apparatus. The analyses include a careful investigation of the way that formal properties, such as symmetry, play a role in the control of model constructions. Perhaps in this book we shall have a final resolution of the long-standing debate over the question of the necessity of models in scientific thinking." - Rom Harre

"The book deserves close attention from anyone interested in the scientific knowledge and vital alternatives to the Kuhnian description of its delevelopment." - Vladimir Kuznetsov