Ever since Aristotle asserted that "the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor," numerous scholars have studied and written about the nature and functions of metaphor.1 The vast majority of these scholars have focused on metaphor as a distinctive use of language that has various rhetorical functions.2 Recently, however, some scholars have begun to dig deeper into the topic, investigating the possibility that metaphor is not only a form of speech, but more fundamentally a form of thought, having basic epistemological functions.3 With regard to science, for instance, such scholars as Arbib and Hesse (1986), Barbour (1974), Black (1962, 1979), Bohm and Peat (1987), Boyd (1979), Farber (1950), Gerschenkron (1974), Gould (1977a,b, 1983), Hesse (1955, 1966, 1980), Hoffman (1980, 1984b), R. S. Jones (1982), Kuhn (1979), Leatherdale (1974), MacCormac (1976, 1985),. Martin and Harre (1982), Nisbet (1976), North (1980), Oppenheimer (1956), and Temkin (1977) have begun to study the ways in which metaphorical thinking, broadly conceived, has helped to constitute, and not merely reflect, scientific theory and practice.4 Following upon such work, this volume has been organized with the intention of raising and answering questions about the role of metaphor in the history of psychology, while also providing analyses of some of the major metaphors that have guided - and sometimes preempted - investigation in selected areas of psychology.

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Copyright © 1990 Cambridge University Press. This chapter first appeared in Metaphors in the History of Psychology.

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