The Artistic Metaphor

Philosophy 96 (1):1-25 (2021)
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Philosophical analysis of metaphor in the non-linguistic arts has been biased towards what I call the ‘aesthetic metaphor’: metaphors in non-linguistic art are normally understood as being completely formed by the work'sinternalcontent, that is, by its perceptual and aesthetic properties such as its images. I aim to unearth and analyse a neglected type of metaphor also used by the non-linguistic arts: the ‘artistic metaphor’, as I call it. An artistic metaphor is composed by an artwork's internal content, but also by itsexternalcontent, which is provided by the work's artistic properties such as its history. The artistic metaphor has been gestured at but not afforded a considered analysis; I aim to do this. Identifying the artistic metaphor has at least two benefits. It shows how curation plays a role in generating metaphors in artworks, which has been overlooked, and it illuminates a potentially powerful tool to interpret and understand ‘conceptual’ art.



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Daisy Dixon
Cardiff University

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References found in this work

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.
Models and metaphors.Max Black - 1962 - Ithaca, N.Y.,: Cornell University Press.
Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
The Artworld.Arthur Danto - 1964 - Journal of Philosophy 61 (19):571-584.
Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols.Nelson Goodman - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):187-198.

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