Contagious metaphor by Peta Mitchell

By Peta Mitchell

The metaphor of contagion pervades severe discourse around the humanities, the clinical sciences, and the social sciences. it seems that in such phrases as 'social contagion' in psychology, 'financial contagion' in economics, 'viral advertising' in company, or even 'cultural contagion' in anthropology. within the twenty-first century, contagion, or 'thought contagion' has turn into a byword for creativity and a basic strategy through which wisdom and concepts are communicated and brought up, and resonates with André Siegfried's statement that 'there is a impressive parallel among the spreading of germs and the spreading of ideas'.

In Contagious Metaphor, Peta Mitchell bargains an leading edge, interdisciplinary research of the metaphor of contagion and its courting to the workings of language. reading either metaphors of contagion and metaphor as contagion, Contagious Metaphor indicates a framework during which the emergence and infrequently epidemic-like replica of metaphor will be greater understood.

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Two schools of thought exist on the relative importance of Richards’s and Black’s interaction theories in the history of metaphor. Black does acknowledge the influence of Richards (along with the work of classical scholar W ­ illiam Bedell Stanford) on the development of his ‘interaction view’ of metaphor. However, Black acknowledges these precedent theories only in a footnote, in which he promptly casts doubt on their philosophical import. Richards and Bedell ­Stanford, Black states in his footnote, are the ‘best sources’ on the interaction view of metaphor; however, he continues, ‘[u]nfortunately, both writers have Contagious Metaphor 23 great trouble in making clear the nature of the positions they are defending’ (1954–55, p.

83; sec. 29 This negativity towards mimetic contagion is recast in the Aristotelian theory in much more positive terms.  . Aristotle sees precisely in one’s mimetic interaction with passions and desires a defense ­mechanism against the power of affect’ (Gebauer and Wulf 1995, p. 57). ­Nevertheless, in both accounts, mimesis is intimately related to the contagion of example – a concept I examine in greater detail in Chapter 4. Moreover, in Plato’s theory, mimesis is never an imitation of reality, but always-already an imitation of a prior imitation.

The limits of imitation are the limits of the complementary power that art yields to nature. From these strands of consideration Nietzsche’s vision of art can be called a theory of mimetic complement.  317) In his unpublished Philosophenbuch, Nietzsche provides further insight into his thinking about imitation or mimesis and its relationship to metaphor and ­analogical thinking. Imitation, he begins, is common to all cultures and is the means by which ‘instinct is gradually produced’ (1979 [1872], p.

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