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124Philosophy and Literature That is, Magliola has found an emergent identity among the manifold. His book can help the phenomenological movement in literary criticism get a purchase on itself. Self-consciousness involves the distancing of self-objectif¡cation . That can lead to the kind of inauthentic role consolidation that spawns ideology, cant and stagnation. It can also lead to self-criticism, self-transcendence and growth. State University of New York at BinghamtonM. C. Dillon The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-disciplinary Studies of the Creation ofMeaning in Language, by Paul Ricoeur, trans. Robert Czernyi; 384 pp. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1977, $22.50. Wayne Booth recently ventured the opinion that there has been more written on metaphor since 1940 than in the entire history of thought before that year. However one might wish to qualify that opinion, there is no doubt that much has been written. Metaphor is an idea whose time has come. Paul Ricoeur's The Rule of Metaphor is to date perhaps the most vigorous attempt towards a comprehensive theory of metaphor. The book is distinguished throughout its eight chapters by detailed, often dense, and forceful argument. Among those he engages are Aristotle, Fontanier, I. A. Richards, Max Black, Monroe Beardsley, Saussure, Stephen Ullmann, Roman Jakobson, Nelson Goodman, Heidegger, and Derrida—to cite only the principals. Ricoeur's method is both historical and critical and evinces as well a dialectical progression. He begins with a discussion of Aristotle, for whom "the word is the unit of reference." This is the level of semiotics which favors a substitution theory of metaphor. Ricoeur then moves to the level of semantics "where the sentence is the carrier of the minimum complete meaning." Here a tension theory is favored. Finally, in chapter six, we come to the hermeneutical level, to the text as a whole where, as Ricoeur remarks, a new problematic emerges. The issue here, he says, "is no longer theform of the metaphor as a word-focused figure of speech, nor even just the sense of metaphor as a founding of a new semantic pertinence, but the reference of the metaphorical statement as the power to 'redescribe' reality" (p. 7). (The Fregean distinction between sense and reference is invoked at this point.) The following seem to me among Ricoeur's important conclusions: first, metaphor is primary; all thought is rooted in the metaphorical. Second, metaphorical truth is justified, for metaphor is referential; it is part of "a generalized theory of denotation" (p. 231). Third, a distinction must be maintained between philosophical speculation and metaphor. The former has autonomy and is not reducible to the latter even though the latter gives rise to the former. Metaphor is not, therefore, utterly pervasive in our modes of discourse. There are other ways of talking about reality. Fourth, the locus Shorter Reviews125 of metaphor is ultimately "the copula of the verb to be . . . which signifies both 'is not' and 'is like' " (p. 7). The Rule of Metaphor debouches into a consideration of the nature of truth and being, those twin gravamina of all philosophical speculation, and the ways in which a study of metaphor might illumine each. How well Ricoeur succeeds in all of this is, of course, open to discussion. But the extent to which I—or anyone else for that matter—might agree or disagree with him must be reserved for a lengthier and more leisurely format. I was especially intrigued by Ricoeur's efforts to demarcate the point of intersection between metaphorical and philosophical modes of discourse, for I have long been haunted by the thought that the world may be nothing more than our constructs of it. He helped me with this problem, although he did not satisfy me. But whatever reservations I might have detract not one whit from this magnificent study in the history of an idea. Ohio Wesleyan UniversityBernard Murchland The Critical Twilight: Explorations in the Ideology ofAngloAmerican Literary Theoryfrom Eliot to McLuhan, by John Fekete; xxviii & 300 pp. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, $15.00. Since the establishment of the so-called Ideologiekritik of the neo-Marxist schools, anything influential in cultural life must be prepared sooner or later to become the object...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 124-125
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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