The Pre-Modern, Modern, and Post-Modern Metaphors of Nature
Purpose: The question in the title of this paper determines the paper’s contents. It will be considered whether the numerous metaphors of nature can be ordered according to the scheme: pre-modern – modern – postmodern, oeconomia naturae and natura lapsa, colors of metaphors. Throughout the centuries these colors were used by philosophical and scientific schools (thinking collectives), according to their own mental rules, for painting different images of nature. Then it will be discussed two main thinking styles concerning the human-environment relationship: oeconomia naturae and natura lapsa. Subsequently, it will be showed that metaphors of nature which are used in research and scientific explanations (i.e., outside of the sphere of everyday life and common language) can on one hand be joined into families of metaphors around the root metaphors and living words, and on the other be referred to as colors (also a metaphor). Throughout the centuries these colors were used by philosophical and scientific schools (thinking collectives), according to their own mental rules, for painting different images of nature. Design/methodology/approach: The article is theoretical. To achieve the research goal, five desktop studies were carried out. They involved a critical analysis of texts on metaphors created in various scientific disciplines, mainly connected with the man-nature studies. Findings: The social and cultural context of the past or strange thinking styles cannot be fully recognized. Only the metaphors–colors enable the general understanding of these images, and as a result many metaphors of nature, irrespective of the time that they came into being. This is also the main, original result of the study guarantee the continuity of the cognitive process. That is, the main reason why we need and use in our postmodern times so. Originality and value: The research approach presented in this article is one of the few attempts at a scientific approach to the metaphorical understanding of nature. It allows you to better understand research concepts, practical activities, as well as the reflection of nature in literature, art, and everyday life. Numerous ecological conflicts take place in the form of diametrically different metaphors and understandings of nature. Therefore, this article is also relevant to ecological policy.