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Meaning Through Metaphor: Analogy As Epistemology

David N. Livingstone and Richard T. Harrison
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Mar., 1981), pp. 95-107
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562686
Page Count: 13
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Meaning Through Metaphor: Analogy As Epistemology
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Abstract

The role of imagination in geographical philosophy and theory is demonstrated by an examination of the function of analogical thinking in scientific investigation. Specifically, the inter-relationships between metaphorical usage and mythic understanding and the development of models is elucidated through an analysis of the metaphor-myth-model nexus. The contribution of organicistic models of society to geographical investigation is shown to rely upon metaphor and to generate myth. Erected on this foundation, the Turnerian frontier hypothesis, itself premised on and creating myth, has been reconceptualized to fit both the space-time continuum, in the analysis of nighttime urban society, and the experience of the black inner city. Since the investigation of the unknown can only be conducted with open-ended concepts, the "flight of imagination" is an indispensable element in geographical epistemology.

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