Μεταφορά. The Figure of Speech before Aristotle

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to propose a historiographical reconstruction of the history of metaphor, by analyzing texts from Presocratic literature. In Parmenides and Empedocles, although the opposite approach, metaphor is used to explain the core of their philosophies. Anyway using metaphor does not allow them to elaborate a theory of metaphor. Not even Isocrates specifies what a metaphor means, but he defines it as a figure of speech. A relevant author for a history of metaphor in Presocratic philosophy is Antiphon, who knew metaphor as a figure. Finally, the most important Sophist Gorgias creatively invented and used many rhetorical figures including metaphor, maybe in a more original way than Plato. Effectively, Aristotle will use Sophists’ results: the Sophistic Movement played a fundamental role for the birth of metaphors in the fifth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-39
Number of pages15
JournalIsonomia – Epistemologica
VolumeREASONING, METAPHOR AND SCIENCE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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