Ricoeur on metaphor and ideology

arguments concerning whether such changes are creative. [2] Less frequently addressed are questions about how to assess the perceptual implications of these linguistic innovations. [3] Using insights of Ricoeur and, to a lesser extent, M. Merleau Ponty and V. N. Volosinov, I will provide a model for evaluating a certain class of linguistic innovations, namely, new uses of language which rely upon distortion of typical perceptual associations. (Excluded from such new linguistic uses are, for example, analogical innovations, as presented by Saussure.) As my title suggests, I will relate two superficially dissimilar products of language, i.e., metaphor and ideology. I will argue that metaphor and ideology need to be considered jointly (comparatively) to understand linguistic creativity, because -despite their differences -they mutually rely (at their inception) on atypical, even excessive, distortion of the way words shape perception of and reflection on ‘reality.’ My basic thesis is that, in language, the processes of creativity and distortion are interrelated. However, the conclusion I will reach is one which proposes a distinction between and criterion for ‘positive’ changes (which I term ‘creative distortions’) and ‘negative’ changes (which I term ‘distortive creations’). Nevertheless, I do not associate ‘creative distortions’ exclusively with metaphors and ‘distortive creations’ exclusively with ideologies. For metaphor and ideology, I relate ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ to how practical activity is facilitated, using a criterion of expansion or enrichment versus contraction or impoverishment of the semiotic perceptual field. Hence, throughout, even when I make distinctions, I will stress how metaphor and ideology are similar, not how they are different. Textually, the model I will present results from my effort to relate Ricoeur’s views on..
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