Metaphor, Poiesis and Hermeneutical Ontology: Paul Ricoeur and the Turn to Language

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Reacting against the turn to transcendence that heavily characterized the medieval worldview, the modern worldview is fundamentally exemplified by a threefold turn to immanence, consisting of a subjective turn, a linguistic turn and an experiential turn. Language plays a pivotal role here since it mediates between the subjective and the experiential. Ricoeur’s treatment of metaphor, significantly laid out in his The Rule of Metaphor, is crucial in bringing about this linguistic turn that mediates the subject and its experience of the world. Through an analysis of “seeing as” as a poietic reconfiguration of reality in the subject’s experience, language transforms and founds the world as a “being as.” What is disclosed in this interpretative transformation of reality is not simply an hermeneutical ontology but possibly—also through language—an hermeneutical axiology.
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