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Revitalizing the metaphoric process in commonsense psychology

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In response to the increasingly acknowledged power of metaphor upon everyday and scientific thinking, the present essay aims to revitalize the metaphoric process in commonsense psychology from the interaction view perspective. As prerequisites, a historical review of the "man-the-scientist" metaphor inherited in commonsense psychology, and a situation analysis of its dormant state are attempted. With metaphorical imagination, a holistic-paradigmatic view of personal theories is postulated on the basis of new knowledge in the philosophy and history of science, namely, the Duhem - Quine (holism) thesis and Kuhn's paradigmatic perspective of scientific activities. To optimize the metaphoric process, deliberations are made on the similarities as well as the differences between the principal subject (i.e. everyday activities) and the subsidiary subject (i.e. scientific activities). It is shown that the "man-the-scientist" metaphoric process can be far-reaching and dialectic in nature, resulting in fresh perspectives for understanding both everyday and scientific activities. The focus of the present essay lies in elaborating a more sophisticated view on personal theories, and in calling for a non-reductionist approach to the investigation of commonsense psychology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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