A critical exposition of Nelson Goodman’s concept of metaphorical exemplification

COLDRON, J. (1982). A critical exposition of Nelson Goodman’s concept of metaphorical exemplification. Masters, University of Sheffield.

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In tackling the concept of expression in Languages of Art Goodman first defines the concept of exemplification and then that of metaphor. The terms being presented, he proceeds to define expression as a metaphorical sub-species of the relation of exemplification. I follow Goodman in first considering exemplification. In doing so I also look at his theory of notation in so far as this introduces aspects of indeterminacy of reference. I consider criticisms of Goodman by Peltz, Brentlinger and Jensen and use an actual musical example to try first to clarify some of the technical terms by applying them and secondly to analyse the various modes of reference used simultaneously in a small part of one work.

I then expound and assess his theory of metaphor. In order to do this his theory of projection has to be carefully examined. A crucial equivocation is exposed in his appeal to similarity to explain the operation of metaphor. I introduce the notion of an affinitive projection as a necessary and useful amendment to avoid the problems discovered. Before proceeding to examine in detail how he formulates and applies the notion of metaphorical exemplification I pause to provide an historical account of the idea of expression, identifying the main threads that contribute to this strand of modem aesthetic thought. The theories of five influential expressive theorists are briefly outlined in order to set Goodman's account in an historical context. His account is then examined and assessed. An interpretation of Goodman’s theory of art as interactive is developed and certain difficulties arising from the earlier equivocation are noted. His relation to the earlier historical accounts is traced and the success of his account discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Depositing User: Caroline Fixter
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2010 13:47
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:27
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2526

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