Phenomenological Metaphor Analysis

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The model of phenomenological metaphor I use must be understood in the broader context of “social construction.” My basic assumption is that culture itself and the individual selves within it are social constructions. That is to say, while we live in a “natural world” and have “biological bodies” this world and our bodies over time come to have more or less conventionalized meanings. The world we live in is the world as it is presented to us as a set of cultural meanings. The self we create (or have created for us) is created in the context of this social understanding. From this point of view, the self is a set of understandings, ideas, images, feelings, that I identify as myself, my identity. This world is characterized by “difference” –…show more content…
Our apprehension of the living contextual world, however, is through our perception. It is, in fact, the world of perception. Thus we can say that living metaphor embodies, on the one hand, the flow of perception – that is to say “the world,” not yet conceptualized, the world as it simply is, ongoing & eternal, &, on the other hand, the conventional aspect of our understanding – the world of forms, concepts, thoughts etc. This is “metaphor” understood from a living phenomenological point of view. It is “language” in the broadest sense, language working in the world & including those who make language as well as that of which language is made.
It is important to note, then, that we (as conventional beings) are embodied by cultural metaphor. We are metaphoric creatures, created by culture. On the other hand, we (as creative cultural beings) embody our cultural metaphors. As artists, scientists, mystics, we make & re-make those metaphors & thus society
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They are similar to the “nature/culture” dichotomy.
In its “natural” state, perception is understood to be the perception of the transcendent world, the whole, in the sense of the “natural world” – it is thus identified with the fullness of the iconic image & with the large all-encompassing “cosmos.” On the other hand, the “natural” state of “convention” is the cultural, social, or linguistic domain, having to do with the small world of “nomos ,” naming things, the world of conceptions & forms.
Thus in the “natural state” of things, the cultural world of “nomos” is embodied in the larger all-encompassing world of “cosmos.” The figure is "nomos" and the ground is "cosmos." This is the natural state of things.
In the “natural” state of affairs, we exist as conventional beings in a conventional world, in the world of forms, “nomos.” We are surrounded & have our being in the eternal vastness of the cosmos. In this conventional state, we allow our conventional everyday understandings to shape & control & create meanings of the cosmic world. In a sense, we reduce its vastness to our own

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