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How Things Count as the SameMemory, Mimesis, and Metaphor$
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Adam B. Seligman and Robert P. Weller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190888718

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190888718.001.0001

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(p.78) 4 Metaphor
How Things Count as the Same

Adam B. Seligman

Robert P. Weller

Oxford University Press

Metaphor brings two hitherto unconnected entities into one frame of reference. A connection is made and communality posited where one had not been seen to exist before. We do not require a shared past (memory) to bring discrete entities or peoples together, nor do we need to share a present practice (mimesis). Rather any living metaphor brings the shock of the new, which can lead us to dismantle our old categories of sameness and difference and to make connections we never made before. In doing so, at least potentially, the entire world can change. Even when metaphors are successful, however, there is an instability in relationship between its two referents, which creates an impulse toward memory or mimesis.

Keywords:   metaphor, sign, object, play, creativity, future orientation

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