M. DANESI has given steps toward the elaboration of a general theory of metaphors, which amounts to a kind of theory of abstractions constructions (M. DANESI, 2001, p. 5-24)
The general idea is about our way to construct embracing frames of reference through succesive (meta-) levels of abstraction.
This attempt is somewhat akin to KORZYBSKYI's structural differential, but also offers new insights.
DANESI starts with a layering theory of metaphors, (which is itself a metaphor!), related to PEIRCE's concepts of firstness, secondness and thirdness.
To begin with, DANESI distinguishes various types of metaphors as:
- animal ones, as for ex. "the professor is a snake"; "he is a real hog"; "she is a true pussycat"
- visual ones as for ex. "there is more in it that meets the eye"; "from the viewpoint", "see eye to eye"; develop a "worldview"
At a second level of abstraction more abstract metaphors appear:
- "he is a voracious reader
- "Darwin is the father of modern biology
- "That idea is not in vogue any longer
- "That theory needs support
- "His views have contemporary offshoots
or, in a culture strongly influenced by markets:
- "That idea just won't sell "
- "That's a worthless idea
Finally, DANESI writes about "meta forms", "metaforms", "metasymbols"(p.21) and shows how the use of metaphors provides a synthetic framework for the understanding of the way human abstract systems are constructed.
He notes that this "basic human tendency to think of abstract concepts iconically and through association was already pointed out by Giambattista VICO (1682-1744) the Italian philosopher" (p.8)
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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