Tipping points are set in complex systems. To make sense of them requires metaphor and narrative. Metaphor is a useful supplement to scientific enquiry, offering a different type of future-orientated knowledge that can provide a fresh perspective for reaction and accommodation. Metaphors allow for new ways of interpreting scientific prediction and construct, as science itself uses metaphors, so aiding the developing present, by redefining past circumstances for possible adaptive futures. Metaphors can liberate but they can also obstruct: they can communicate and they can trample. The key is to combine the freedom of thought with interdisciplinarity and flexibility of analysis. Metaphors also encourage narrative options and contingencies, thereby enabling a range of interpretative pathways for bifurcated futures.
|Title of host publication
|Addressing Tipping Points for a Precarious Future
|Timothy O'Riordan, Timothy Lenton
|Oxford University Press
|Published - 22 Aug 2013