Excerpt from D. PHILIP CARNEY Tropological Language (Forthcoming, 2008)
Constitutive metaphor: This metaphor works to frame the thinking about the target domain to the point that one cannot consider the TARGET DOMAIN without the SOURCE DOMAIN. Stephen Pepper identified four constitutive metaphors: ORGANICISM, MECHANISM, FORMISM, and CONTEXTUALISM. One can characterise each of these metaphors by its different properties. For example, with mechanism, the economy will resemble a machine. With contextualism, the economy will have a history in which events are inter-linked and one can only understand human actions in the context of these events. With organicism, the entire economy is a living thing complete with closed circular flows.
Contextualism. This is a type of CONSTITUTIVE METAPHOR.
Creative transformation: A creative transformation pertains to an intellectual leap forward of a special kind. It occurs when one transfers an idea (regardless of whether the original idea survives in its exact form during the transfer) from one domain to another.
Dead metaphor: This metaphor is often mistake for literal language. This is a common mistake that one makes through overuse of a metaphor. Overuse can drain a metaphor of its figurative sense that renders it literal in impact. A metaphor dies when the analogical system of that metaphor eclipses the original metaphor itself. This happened with the once metaphorical terms ‘skyscraper’, ‘riverbed’, and the game chess. For example, chess was a metaphorical representation of war as a game. Chess as war faded away to reveal the game chess. Today, one has almost completely lost the connection with war. Chess is interesting only as a self-contained game. Chess is similar to a neoclassical economic model in that one can suppose that both represented the real-world at some point but lost touch with it.
Formism. This is type of CONSTITUTIVE METAPHOR.
Heuristic metaphor: This metaphor is largely realistic and apt (opposed to JUSTIFICATORY METAPHOR). It works to guide inquiry into the TARGET DOMAIN through joining attributes of the target domain with the SOURCE DOMAIN. This metaphor allows practitioners to investigate phenomena without implying the casual relationships of the source domain to the target domain. For example, in economics, economists habitually develop and elaborate a heuristic metaphor into a model as with the human capital metaphor. Similarly, in biology, Darwin associated ideas of classical economics and biology through use of heuristic metaphor to create a cross-fertilised set of ideas that improved biology.
Justificatory metaphor: This type of metaphor (opposed to HEURISTIC METAPHOR) is largely an unrealistic and inapt metaphor. When practitioners use justificatory metaphors, they use the foreign discipline as a holder of truth. This enterprise allows practitioners to make affirmations of truth along lines of a foreign discipline. Indeed, justificatory metaphors are not usually attempts to seek truth. It is a deceptive device that tries to lead the reader to accept the view of the author. Usually, there are subtle endeavours to disguise the approach as being natural or scientific. This device is possibly the most important of all pervasive devices as it allows the practitioner to misguide the negligent reader to accept ill-founded arguments. One can observe justificatory metaphors throughout economics. One can see these when an economist borrows a robust idea from another discipline to disguise (whether intentionally or not) an anomaly in their domestic paradigm.
Mechanism. This is type of CONSTITUTIVE METAPHOR.
Metaphor. This is a language process where one transfers attributes of one object (SOURCE DOMAIN) to another (TARGET DOMAIN). Metaphor borrows from a source domain that has in principle, nothing to do with the target domain. Metaphor, therefore, produces unexpected juxtapositions of subjects from apparently unrelated domains. This is what makes metaphor so powerful.
Object mapping. This is a brachial process that deconstructs an object into characteristics and reassembles the object piecemeal to afford further extrapolations to new situations.
Organicism. This is a type of CONSTITUTIVE METAPHOR.
Pedagogical metaphor: This metaphor works to make already understood expositions clearer. It relies on obvious resemblances between its source and target domains. For example, the circular flow diagram of macroeconomics or the expression time is money are examples of pedagogical metaphor.
Source domain: The academic discipline or field that one uses to gain insight into another (TARGET DOMAIN).
System mapping: This works for humans to extrapolate solutions to problems of similar structure to new problems.
Target domain. The academic discipline or field to which one applies an idea from another.