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Metaphor, Allegory, and the Classical TraditionAncient Thought and Modern Revisions$
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G. R. Boys-Stones

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199240050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199240050.001.0001

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Plato on Metaphors and Models

Plato on Metaphors and Models

(p.55) 4 Plato on Metaphors and Models
Metaphor, Allegory, and the Classical Tradition

E. E. Pender

Oxford University Press

‘Metaphor’ in Platonic vocabulary is included in the term for ‘image’ (eikôn), and structurally related to ‘models’ (paradeigmata) in identifying the similarities and differences between two subjects. As the Politicus makes clear, ‘models’ differ in providing a more developed and systematic exploration of these similarities and differences, and can be used to aid understanding of difficult or unfamiliar subjects. Although Plato to this extent foreshadows 20th-century cognitive theories of metaphor, he believes that neither ‘images’ nor ‘models’ can ultimately be of more than heuristic value.

Keywords:   metaphor, image, eikon, model, paradeigma, cognitive elucidation, Plato

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