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Philosophy Today

Volume 58, Issue 4, Fall 2014

Ricoeur, Justice and Institutions / Ricoeur, la justice et les institutions

Giovanni Damele
Pages 679-695

La ruche
Une ‘métaphore vive’ du discours politique

The chapter analyzes some examples taken from the different versions of the beehive allegory in political history and political literature, with the aim of exploring the relevance of cognitive and persuasive aspects in this political metaphor. Starting from the Ricœurian theory of metaphor, the analysis of this particular example aims to show, ultimately, a characteristically rhetorical use of metaphorical language. Considering its structure, a metaphor such as the beehive metaphor appears to be fundamentally based on an analogical process hiding a re-description, ultimately based on an argumentative foundation–in this case, on the naturalistic argument. In this sense, this particular political metaphor seems to be persuasive precisely because of its ambiguity and its relative obscurity. Finally, I suggest that the effectiveness (therefore the popularity) of this metaphor in the political field is based on an implicit argumentative structure that has a fundamentally persuasive and strategic purpose, to which any cognitive dimension is subjected.

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