Volume 3, Number 3, Summer: Part 1 (Special Issue)
Arthur Efron, State University of New York at Buffalo
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 193-196, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This special issue of The Journal of Mind and Behavior contains the papers presented at “Root Metaphor: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” held at SUNY-Buffalo on May 3-4, 1982, under the auspices of the Department of English, through funds provided by its Edward H. Butler Chair, and with a small grant from the SUNY-Buffalo University Research Development Fund. The conference was the first ever held on the overall work of Stephen C. Pepper (1891-1972), whose work in metaphilosophy, value theory, definitions, and aesthetics has grown to be a vital source for researchers in many disciplines. Above all, his Root Metaphor approach is being recognised as an original major contribution to understanding how theories work, with applications to discipline after discipline. Pepper’s approach is one of the few that takes both cognitive adequacy and metaphor seriously — and as necessary to each other. He held that each of the relatively adequate world views (of which there are only four or five so far) is organized intrinsically around a root metaphor; but he also held that each of these views is relatively adequate only because it can pass the tests of unrestricted scope and maximum precision. Pepper is the only philosopher who maintained that all four of the world hypotheses (or all five, if we consider Selectivism, the world hypothesis that he himself proposed in 1967, in his book Concept and Quality ), must be regarded as relatively adequate, without suggesting that one was actually superior to the others, and without flinging open the doors to any number of alternative world views which could not, in fact, pass the great tests of maximum precision and scope. This is a rare kind of pluralism.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Arthur Efron, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
Introduction: Metaphor in Philosophy
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 197-206, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] 1. Special use of Metaphor in Philosophy. Metaphor in philosophy may be distinguished from metaphor in poetry by being primarily an explanatory rather than an aesthetic device. Its explanatory function is to aid in conceptual clarification, comprehension, or insight regarding a mode of philosophical thought, a problem or an area of philosophical subject matter, or even a total philosophical system. However, the boundary between the aesthetic and the explanatory use of metaphor is admittedly vague. A philosopher may even deliberately select a metaphor for its aesthetic vividness and impact (as with Bergson’s élan vital or William James’s stream of consciousness; and notoriously the Mystics), but the question of the metaphor’s having philosophical relevance depends on its explanatory function. Does it contribute to an understanding of the philosophy?
Reprinted from Stephen C. Pepper, “Metaphor in Philosophy,” from Dictionary of History of Ideas, Volume 3, Philip P. Wiener, Editor-in-Chief. Copyright © 1973 Charles Scribner’s Sons. Reprinted with the permission of Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Pepper and Recent Metaphilosophy
Andrew J. Reck, Tulane University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 207-216, ISSN 0271-0137
Pepper’s major contributions to metaphilosophy are his root metaphor and his theory of structural corroboration as the epistemological foundations of metaphysical systems, allowing for a plurality of rival systems. These contributions are elucidated, and esteemed to have been influential in later metaphilosophical thought even when not explicitly recognized. Rorty’s and Nozick’s recent contributions to metaphilosophy are examined by reference to Pepper’s works and to each other’s. Although these recent metaphilosophers are criticized for falling short of Pepper’s achievement, they are seen to be reconfirming fundamental Pepperian insights. Philosophy has as much in common with art as with science, and its finest gift is the liberation of our capacity to think, feel, and sense, in all its multivariety, the world in which we live.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Andrew J. Reck, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118.
What Pepperian Response to Rorty is Possible?
Peter H. Hare, State University of New York at Buffalo
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 217-220, ISSN 0271-0137
The following comment on Reck’s paper praises his exposition of the metaphilosophical ideas of Pepper, Rorty and Nozick but asks how the Pepperian can respond to Rorty’s critique of epistemology and systematic philosophy. It is asked whether Reck wishes in his response to follow the lead of Bernstein or that of Neville.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Peter H. Hare, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Baldy Hall, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York 14260.
The Social Basis of Root Metaphor: An Application to Apocalypse Now and The Heart of Darkness.
Bill J. Harrell, S.U.N.Y. College of Technology
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 221-240, ISSN 0271-0137
This essay explores the influence of social structure on the creation and use of metaphors. Pepper’s analysis of world hypotheses and their foundation in root metaphors is compared to Douglas’ identification of the relationship between cultural cosmologies and social structure. The evident parallels between the Pepper and Douglas typologies reveal a rich and useful method of determining the relations between social structure, logic, and cultural belief systems. Metaphor and other figures of speech (tropes) play a central role in the transaction which establish these relationships. In turn, attention to the influence of social structure on experience contributes to our understanding of how and why a metaphor may or may not work within a statement of narrative. The conceptual framework which results from the above analysis is applied to an interpretation of Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Apocalypse Now. It is argued that fundamental changes in social structure account in part for the failure of Coppola to transfer the key metaphor in Conrad’s turn of the century story, to Coppola’s contemporary film.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Bill J. Harrell, Ph.D., Arts and Sciences Division, S.U.N.Y. College of Technology, Utica, New York 13502.
Pepper’s Philosophical Approach to Metaphor: the Literal and the Metaphorical
Earl R. MacCormac, Davidson College
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 241-250, ISSN 0271-0137
Pepper’s concept of a root metaphor possesses profound implications for any theory that attempts to explain language, especially those theories that try to construct explanatory accounts of ambiguity and metaphor. Any explanatory theory of metaphor must as a theory necessarily be metaphorical in the sense of presupposing a root metaphor. But this discovery does not mean that all language is metaphorical; there can be literal language even though metalinguistic accounts of language including metaphor must be founded upon root metaphors.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Earl R. MacCormac, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28036.
Basic Metaphors and the Emergence of Root Metaphors
Antonio S. Cua, The Catholic University of America
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 251-258, ISSN 0271-0137
This essay offers some preliminary reflections on the systematic and non-systematic uses of basic metaphors in relation to Pepper’s conception of root metaphor. It is suggested that Pepper’s conception represents one sort of systematic use; and that the non-systematic use, as exemplified in Chinese thought, has an independent cognitive status and merit particularly in comparative philosophical inquiry.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Antonio S. Cua, Ph.D., School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064.
The Psychology of David Hartley and the Root Metaphor of Mechanism: A Study in the History of Psychology
Joan Walls, Appalachian State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 259-274, ISSN 0271-0137
The present paper examines the effects of the scientific revolution upon the history of psychology with special emphasis upon the work of Hartley. Hartley’s Observations on Man (1749) is generally recognized as the synthesis and origin of psychological associationism although this awareness has not brought about a due examination of his system and its influence upon psychology. The reasons for this will be discussed, as well as the more general impact of Hartley’s system upon psychology, with special reference to Pepper’s root metaphor theory.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Joan W. Walls, Ph.D., c/o Earl R. MacCormac, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28036.
Paradigms, Puzzles and Root Metaphors: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg and the Exact Sciences
Gordon Patterson, Florida Institute of Technology
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 275-288, ISSN 0271-0137
Pepper’s root metaphor theory supplies a means of analyzing different conceptions of science. Pepper’s work shows that scientific theories and what he calls unrestricted world hypotheses originate in metaphors. The career of the eighteenth century physicist, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, illustrates the metaphorical nature of the act of scientific discovery. Pepper’s root metaphor theory offers an explanation for Lichtenberg’s inability to incorporate his discoveries in the eighteenth century’s mechanistic framework.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Gordon Patterson, Ph.D., Department of Humanities, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida 32901.
The Concept of Puzzle: Unrecognized Root Metaphor in Analytical Aesthetics
Arthur Efron, State University of New York at Buffalo
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 289-302, ISSN 0271-0137
Pepper’s method of placing discrete arguments within aesthetics in relation to a “root metaphor” may be applied to current practice and theory in analytical aesthetics. The root metaphor of the “puzzle,” with its minimal sub-categories of “looking at” and “solving,” accounts for the major direction and limitations of analytical aesthetics, and does so more precisely than a typical characterization of such aesthetics as “the determination of presuppositions to be found in language use.” The work of Goodman, among others, is subject to the root metaphor of puzzle, with detrimental effect on the affective side of aesthetic experience, despite sincere denials by Goodman. Kivy’s recent attack on Pepper’s early book, Aesthetic Quality, shows in some detail what issues are at stake. Analytical aesthetics is furthermore typical of a strong predisposition now in force within philosophy to regard all problems and all experiences as if they were rooted within a metaphor of the puzzle.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Arthur Efron, Ph.D., Department of English, 306 Samuel Clemens Hall, SUNY at Buffalo, New York 14260.
‘Radical Historicity’ and Common Sense: On the Poetics of Human Nature
David B. Downing, Eastern Illinois University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1982, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 303-322, ISSN 0271-0137
This paper offers a critique of the post-structuralist vision of absolute, cultural, critical, and linguistic relativism. Its general purpose is to entertain the possibility of a life-enhancing normative view of human nature which is neither helplessly idealistic nor arbitrarily reductive but empirically based and attuned to the teleology of human needs. The starting point is White’s accomodation of the four master tropes (metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony) as modes of consciousness to Piaget’s model of the four stages in the development of the child’s cognitive powers. This linking of tropological cognition to ontogenetic development allows us to conceive of the tropes as the grounds for a theory of human nature in which the tropes themselves are seen to be the generic cognitive capacities of human beings. The tropes, that is, provide the general cognitive capacities for the construction of those symbolic models by which we become aware of the specific capabilities that define the human species. The paper further explores the implications which this theory has for Pepper’s “root metaphor” epistemology of world hypotheses, Geertz’s semiotic concept of culture, and Diamond’s notion of primitive cultures as systems in equilibrium. What we arrive at is a generalized concept of culture as a web of meanings not necessarily, as is often suggested, imposed from without by repressive agencies but rather as the particularized expression and liberation of humankind’s inherent emotional, sexual, and cognitive capacities.
Requests for reprints should be sent to David Downing, Ph.D., Department of English, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 61920.