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metaphorik.de 04/2003

Modality, Ecology, Metaphor


This essay presents an aspect of our way of dealing with the dialectical relationship between the two phenomena “Ecology” and “Metaphor”. For practical reason we limit our approach to a semantic dimension of the problematics. Our tradition regards metaphor and analogy both as conceptual activities and patterns as well as pre-conceptual and aconceptual capacities of mode of thinking, talking and acting.

Section 1 introduces our concept of ecology, namely as a philosophy-science of and for a living universe, a conscious nature, and many intelligent realities. Our view of ecology offers a new scientific paradigm, because it implies a non-dualistic, non-reductionist, non-causal, and a-causal description of nature, society, and persons. Via a dialectical interpretation of Bell’s theorem we transfer these insights to the fields of communication and dialogue.

Section 2 continues the exposition of our concept of a dialogue in a praxis. An implication of these concepts is the concept modality, i.e. our ways of relating to the praxis and the dialogue. We distinguish between a ground mood of modality and a particular mood of modality. The dialogical modality is actually an expression of the interference between persons’ and situations’ undercurrents, i.e. streams of consciousness with waves of feelings, cognitions, and volitions. Centrally in our theory of undercurrents stands the idea and reality of empathy. We discuss these concepts in relation to semantics, by formulating a new semantic matrix.

Section 3 unfolds our conception of metaphor-analogy. Both imply trans­ferences of similarities and differences in and between mental models. If the mental models belong to different categories, we term the transference metaphor; do they belong to the same category, we term it analogy. The former implies a novum in the mental transference, and from a survival point of view it works differently than the latter. Metaphor is involved when individualities, species and environments change qualitatively, analogy when they change quantitatively.

We end our essay in Section 4 by formulating our preliminary conclusion and some invitations for further discussions.



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