Aristotle’s theory of metaphor is still considered one of the most relevant points of reference in the study of this particular kind of language. In this article the definitions of metaphor which are contained in his treaties on Rhetoric and Poetics are analysed and interpreted epistemologically and ontologically with reference to Aristotle’s theory of the soul. In the Rhetoric Aristotle defines the metaphor as «putting things before the eyes» (pro ommaton poiein), since a property of metaphors is to link the production of meaning to a sensible, pictorial or iconic quality. To account for the meaning of the exhibition of a sensible or iconic component, I will make reference to the doctrines of koine aisthesis and phantasia, as defined in the De Anima1. Here the philosopher highlights a primary perceptive and pre-linguistic recognition of the object, which organises the formation of concepts. This means that the formation of a unitary condition is still fluid, “undetermined” (in epistemological rather than ontological sense) and approximate, and precedes the categories of language. The unitary condition emerges from the sensible forms, which the soul receives adhering to the worldly order, and which the soul will employ in the formation of certain meanings. What matters is that a precondition for linguistic conceptualisation is a predisposition to meaning-production, which belongs to the sphere of sensibility. Through the activities of articulation, determination and dissection, language expresses the primary unitary conditions of experience. Insofar as the categories are fundamental modes of predication, they are ruled by these primary perceptive configurations. Scientific language builds a system of axioms and definitions that determine how ordinary language can articulate this objectification. However, the pre-categorial unity of soul and sensible nature still persists inside scientific language and reveals its presence if the procedures of definition and objectification are considered from different linguistic perspectives.

Aristotle’s mimesis metaphorike: between semantic universality and ontological determinateness

Graziella Travaglini
2015

Abstract

Aristotle’s theory of metaphor is still considered one of the most relevant points of reference in the study of this particular kind of language. In this article the definitions of metaphor which are contained in his treaties on Rhetoric and Poetics are analysed and interpreted epistemologically and ontologically with reference to Aristotle’s theory of the soul. In the Rhetoric Aristotle defines the metaphor as «putting things before the eyes» (pro ommaton poiein), since a property of metaphors is to link the production of meaning to a sensible, pictorial or iconic quality. To account for the meaning of the exhibition of a sensible or iconic component, I will make reference to the doctrines of koine aisthesis and phantasia, as defined in the De Anima1. Here the philosopher highlights a primary perceptive and pre-linguistic recognition of the object, which organises the formation of concepts. This means that the formation of a unitary condition is still fluid, “undetermined” (in epistemological rather than ontological sense) and approximate, and precedes the categories of language. The unitary condition emerges from the sensible forms, which the soul receives adhering to the worldly order, and which the soul will employ in the formation of certain meanings. What matters is that a precondition for linguistic conceptualisation is a predisposition to meaning-production, which belongs to the sphere of sensibility. Through the activities of articulation, determination and dissection, language expresses the primary unitary conditions of experience. Insofar as the categories are fundamental modes of predication, they are ruled by these primary perceptive configurations. Scientific language builds a system of axioms and definitions that determine how ordinary language can articulate this objectification. However, the pre-categorial unity of soul and sensible nature still persists inside scientific language and reveals its presence if the procedures of definition and objectification are considered from different linguistic perspectives.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2673763
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