H. BENKING and A. JUDGE write: "There is a need to distinguish classes of metaphors offering different advantages and disadvantages. Typically they would include: geometric forms (cube, sphere, polyhedra in general), artificial forms (townscapes, house, room), natural forms (landscape, trees, etc.), systemic structures (highway systems, pathways, flow systems), dynamic systems (atomic, molecular, planetary, galactic systems), traditional symbol systems (mandalas, sand paintings, etc.)"(1994)
In fact, what the authors call metaphors can in most cases be also considered as models.
To their listing an important addendum would be topological graphs, matrixes and mathematical curves (for ex. exponential, asymptotic, logistic, gaussian)
The authors add: "Of special interest are those sets of metaphors which permit intertransformation with minimal loss of conceptual integrity (in terms of maintaining relationships between data referents) (Ibid)
And: "With information beyond a certain degree of complexity, it is questionable whether any single metaphor is adequate as an interface for adequate comprehension. This is best exemplified by the wave/particle metaphors used to comprehend fundamental physical systems" (Ibid)
Moreover: "It is equally desirable to understand the use of metaphors in terms of the alternation between perspectives which provide a sense of depth that would otherwise be unavailable. Such "depth" is distinct from that obtainable from any 3-D metaphor which although it offers depth, is cognitively not as significant as that offerent from the cognitive integration of two contrasting metaphors. Such "depth" is only achievable by alternation between metaphorical interfaces (as the wave/ particle example suggests)" (Ibid)
As an interesting tool, the authors also propose the creation of a "library of metaphors"
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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