Interpretace organických a mechanických metafor ve vědecké konceptualizaci hypertextu

Title in English An Interpretation of Organic and Mechanical Metaphors in Scientific Conceptualization of Hypertext


Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Defined as a nonlinear text with links containing references to other pieces of information (1965), hypertext presents an extension of the concept of text. I presuppose that hypertext is conceptualised metaphorically. I shall provide a metaphorological, Blumenbergian interpretation of this scientific conceptualisation. My aim is to interpret it as a pragmatically determined dialectical interaction of organic and mechanical ‘absolute metaphors’ (metaphors that cannot be fully paraphrased in a literal language). Nelson expanded a metaphor of Vannevar Bush. Bush (1945) conceived of text linking in terms of the mechanization of the organic associative memory in his mechanical metaphor ‘association is a trail’. Bush imagined hypertext as a mechanical aid for our memory. Douglas Engelbart (1962) made Bush's concept more organic in terms of the human-computer interaction. Ted Nelson (1965) conceptualized his Xanadu hypertextual system as an organic system which imitates the functions of the human mind. Nelson imagined his Xanadu as a place of literary memory. He referred to Coleridge's Xanadu, as the never-ending and the active finding of a magical place. Blumenberg's theory gives a historical dimension to our inquiry. Max Black's interaction theory provides us with a rigorous logical analysis of absolute metaphors and their associative complexes. The development of the concept of hypertext will be introduced as an attempt to ‘translate’ the metaphorical speech, in which the idea of hypertext is formulated at an early stage of its scientific conceptualisation.
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