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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2008

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Arts

Sun-Ah Kang
Pages 121-127

Pictorial Metaphor

In this paper, I argue that, first, there is a non-verbal metaphor, specifically pictorial metaphor, second, there are differences between verbal and non‐verbal metaphor but their differences are not as big as some people expect. Theorists who argue for visual/pictorial metaphor have used some analogy with verbal metaphor in order to justify their position. This approach itself is not wrong but sometimes their analogy goes to the wrong direction. I introduce two theorists, Noel Carroll and Richard Wollheim, who have a theory of visual metaphor and make an analogy with verbal metaphor. Their theories doom to fail because their analogy with verbal metaphor based on misunderstanding about verbal metaphor. Verbal metaphor is not to pair two objects belongs to unrelated realms, as pictorial metaphor is not recognize two different aspect alternatively, aspect seeing. Of course, paring two unrelated objects and aspect seeing may trigger off metaphor, but metaphor is not only about these two objects but also related to whole picture, sentence, discourse, or phrase and these things bring us to a pretense context in which metaphorical elements works and we are engaging in order to appreciate metaphor. When we see the metaphor in a whole picture, we enhance our understanding not only about visual metaphor but also verbal metaphor. Their differences lies in the way they get their primary meaning, but beyond it, there is no fundamental difference as metaphors between them.

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