Scientific thought is inherently shaped by language, and language is shaped by the culture that has produced it. It can be said that the history of science is as much a history of writers as it is of texts. This book traces scientific discourseMoreScientific thought is inherently shaped by language, and language is shaped by the culture that has produced it. It can be said that the history of science is as much a history of writers as it is of texts. This book traces scientific discourse through time and across cultures/m-/examining its character, evolution, and cultural origins/m-/to demonstrate the profound influence of language on scientific thought, discovery, and progress throughout history.Drawing on examples from such disciplines as biology, psychology, astronomy, and sociology, Montgomery shows how the choice of language and the metaphors used can lead to different scientific insights.
For example, the use of military metaphors in biomedicine/m-/diseases strike and attack, illnesses invade and spread, our bodies defenses battle to defeat infections/m-/provides a war-like atmosphere that has profound implications on the way disease is understood and on the institutions that are created to deal with them.Examining the effects of translation on science and the influences of culture, Montgomery demonstrates the alteration of ideas across languages by comparing the English translation of Freud to the original German edition.
He also provides a compelling look at the development of scientific language in Japan, where modern scientific discourse was born relatively late, and examines the different western influences that are evident in the terminology.