The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1998

Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts

Francisca Pérez Carreño
Pages 139-144

El Poder de las Metáforas

The terms 'metaphor' and 'metaphorical' are overused in art theory and criticism, specially when applied to pictures. In last years different authors have written theories that attempt to define and characterise visual metaphors. I shall analyse Carroll's approach to visual metaphors. I shall try to show, first, that requirements of homospatiality and non composibility of the elements in a figure are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for metaphorical effect, to perceive a thing under a new light. Second, that considering a visual metaphor as an invitation to mapping different categories onto each other does not take into account its specificity. As pictures, their relevance is just to provide the categories for the mapping, which is an imaginary task. On the contrary, there are examples of images, which directly provoke a metaphorical insight. Caricatures are the simplest and most ubiquitous case.