Mimesis and Metaphor

Thomas Eder


In my paper an up-to-date and renewed conception of mimesis and metaphor shall be
sketched. Furthermore the consequences of metaphorical operations for scientific
knowledge and belief can be shown. I will try to outline the mimetic potential of
metaphors in literary texts which focus on their linguistic mediality, using central
ideas of the approach to a theory of symbols that Nelson Goodman suggested in his
"Languages of Art" (Goodman 1976). By challenging Goodmanian ideas of representation
I will sketch two new models of mimetic pepresentation in poetic metaphors:
schema-mimesis and self-referential mimesis or exemplificational mimesis. I will
close with some remarks on the question of what this renewed conception of mimesis
means for a concept of metaphor, especially for metaphor in science. Could poetry
that refers to its own linguistic mediality not turn out to be a crucial sceptical
challenge to knowledge based theories in science?


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; mimesis; metaphor; analytic theory of metaphor; schema-mimesis; exemplification

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