JoLIE 10:1/2017


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Rodica-Gabriela Chira

1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia, Romania






Poetical Theorems, a book first published in France, in 1994, starts from the idea of mediating a deeper understanding of the contemporary scientific theories, with their complex visions, by the help of a “trans-linguistic lexicon which incorporates poetized concepts similar to those earlier discovered in the "lyrical theorems" conceived by the Romanian poet and mathematician Ion Barbu” (Dincă 2011: 122). As ‘word of mathematics’, a theorem is defined by S. Schwartzman (2010) in terms of “proof of a speculation that has been arrived at by looking at something”. Metaphor could also be defined as “looking at something” in a poetical way. The term “poetical” is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as “being beyond or above the truth of history or nature”. Transdisciplinarity also goes beyond disciplines in its attempt to explain that the only possible universal language is the translingustic one, that words are nothing but traces of the lost spoken word (Nicolescu 1994: VI, 35), that words are quanta Nicolescu 1994: VI, 6). Metaphor could thus be defined through its connection with quanta in quantum physics. It can help us explain what mind is and how it works, what we can know and how we can go about gaining knowledge, the nature of reality, philosophical questions indebted to metaphor (Johnson 2008: 40).

The aim of our paper is to analyse instances of novel metaphor, i.e. a metaphor used to structure “a new way of thinking about something” (Lakoff, & Johnson 1980: 53). The corpus of our research is represented by Basarab Nicolescu’s Poetical Theorems.


Key words: Novel metaphor; Transdisciplinarity; Quantum physics; Levels of reality.





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How to cite this article: Chira, R.-G. (2017). On Basarab Nicolescu’s “poetical theorems” or how to metaphorically explain science through poetry. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 10(1), 51-64. DOI:



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