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The Critical Imagination$
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James Grant

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661794.001.0001

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Metaphor and Criticism

Metaphor and Criticism

(p.149) 6 Metaphor and Criticism
The Critical Imagination

James Grant

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why metaphor is so effective, and therefore so prevalent, in criticism of the arts. It begins by defending the Minimal Thesis about metaphor, presented in Chapter 4, against objections by Frank Sibley and Roger Scruton. Building upon the conclusions about criticism reached in Chapters 1–3, and upon the view of metaphor defended in Chapters 4–5, it then argues that there are two importantly different kinds of metaphor used by critics. Drawing this distinction is essential to explaining why metaphor is used so often in criticism. The explanation of why metaphor is effective is different for each kind of metaphor. The chapter also explains why, as philosophers since Aristotle have observed, metaphor has a particularly close connection with perception and with imagination.

Keywords:   metaphor, language of criticism, imagination, expression, aesthetic properties, realism, anti-realism, sibley, scruton

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