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Korsmeyer, Carolyn. Taste as Sense and as Sensibility
1997, Philosophical Topics 25 (1):201-230.
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Introduction: Philosophers occasionally take note of the degree to which their theories make use of metaphoric language. Plato may have been the first to call attention to the heuristic use of sensory images to illuminate the world of abstractions, but twentieth-century thinkers have been particulalry reflective on the subject. Metaphors, remarks Iris Murdoch, are "fundamental forms of our awareness of our condition: metaphors of space, metaphors of movement, metaphors of vision." Philosophical systems, she believes, can often be understood as explorations of centrally important images. Indeed, it seems to her "impossible to discuss certain kinds of concepts without resort to metaphor, since the concepts are themselves deeply metaphorical, and cannot be analyzed into non-metaphorical components without a loss of substance." Mark Johnson agrees and obeserves that recent discoveries in cognitive science provide empirical evidence for claims about metaphor that previously were largely intuitive, namely, that "metaphor is not merely a linguistic phenomenon, but more fundamentallly, a conceptual and experiential process that structures our world.


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