Krisztián Majoros & Péter Csatár:
Leitmetaphern in der modernen Zellbiologie

The present paper investigates the role of metaphor in transferring scientific knowledge. On the basis of a sample corpus of metaphors, extracted from course books on the biology of the cell, a system of metaphors (an Idealized Cognitive Model in the sense of the conceptual metaphor theory) will be identified. It is also demonstrated that this system of metaphors, THE CELL IS AN INDUSTRIAL CITY, has long been a central and omnipresent model in cell biology, despite the fact that there has been a profound paradigm shift in the scientific discourse on the cell. Therefore, it is a fundamental question, what factors influence the changes in metaphorical models basic to scientific discourse. The study cautiously argues for the hypothesis that the metaphorical models are not only affected by intradisciplinary developments but also (or maybe much more) by the social context of the scientific discourse.

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