Salomon Maimon and the Metaphorical Nature of Language

This article is concerned with the metaphorical nature of language in the conception of Salomon Maimon (1753--1800), one of the most distinctive figures of post-Kantian philosophy. He was continuously challenging the theories that attributed a metaphorical character to language, which were widespread in eighteenth-century British, French, and German philosophy. Particularly notable was his attack on Johann Georg Sulzer (1720--1779). The core of the dispute concerned different views on the relationship between the sphere of the senses and the sphere of the intellect. Whereas Sulzer understood them simply as analogical, Maimon dissolved the disparity, convinced that each stems, albeit separately, from the transcendental activity of consciousness. He applied this method of argumentation also in essays on literal meaning and figurative meaning.
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