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Logic and Metaphor

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In this work, attention is drawn to the abundant use of metaphor and analogy in works of logic. I argue that pervasiveness of figurative language is to be counted among the features that characterize logic and distinguish it from other sciences. This characteristic feature reflects the creativity that is inherent in logic and indeed has been demonstrated to be a necessary part of logic. The goal of this paper, in short, is to provide specific examples of figurative language used in logic that yield insights into the nature of the subject. I encourage the reader to take metaphors seriously, and to accept that they are not mere embellishments but key elements in our understanding of logic.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Lausanne, Institute of Applied Mathematics, BFSH2, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; e-mail:

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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