Download Aesthetic Ideology (Theory and History of Literature, Volume by Paul de Man PDF

By Paul de Man

Editor note: Edited and with an advent by means of Andrzej Warminski
Publish yr note: First released in 1996

Paul De Man's recognition used to be irreparably broken through the revelation after his dying of his wartime anti-Semitism, obscuring a few legitimate highbrow contributions to the sphere of aesthetics. This choice of philosophical essays, compiled via Andrzej Warminski of the collage of California, argues for the shut connections among paintings and politics and paintings and technology. He discusses Kant and Hegel, whose significant contributions to aesthetics are much less recognized than their paintings on rationality and morality. And in an essay on Schiller he deplores, fairly naively, the poet/playwright's loss of philosophical obstacle for the foundation of his paintings.

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Examples used in logical arguments have a distressing way of lingering on with a life of their own. I suppose no reader of J. L. Austin's paper "On Excuses" has ever been quite able to forget the "case" of the inmate in an insane asylum parboiled to death by a careless guard. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF METAPHOR D 41 The well-shaped changeling is a man, has a rational soul, though it appear not: this is past doubt, say you. Make the ears a little longer and more pointed, and the nose a little flatter than ordinary, and then you begin to boggle; make the face yet narrower, flatter, and longer, and then you are at a stand; add still more and more of the likeness of a brute to it, and let the head be perfectly that of some other animal, then presently it is a monster, and it is demonstration with you that it hath no rational soul and must be destroyed.

But the chapter on abstract terms also deals with language in a more inclusive way than its title would seem to indicate. It can be shown, though this is not my present purpose, that the subsequent chapters on "langage d'action" are a special case of the more inclusive model and history set up in this section. Read in conjunction with THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF METAPHOR D 43 Locke's "On Words," it allows for a wider perspective on the tropological structure of discourse. At first sight, the brief chapter seems to deal with only one rather specialized use of language, that of conceptual abstractions.

6 The structure of the process is once more precisely that of metaphor in its classical definition. "1 And a few years after Condillac, Rousseau will make the same argument in his analysis of denomination in the second Discourse? It is entirely legitimate to conclude that when Condillac uses the term "abstraction," it can be "translated" as metaphor or, if one agrees with the point that was made with reference to Locke about the self-totalizing transformation of all tropes, as trope. As soon as one is willing to be made aware of their epistemological implications, concepts are tropes and tropes concepts.

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