From Metaphor to Hypertext: an Interplay of Organic and Mechanical Metaphorics in the Context of New Media Discovering



Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Proceedings of the AISB 2015 Symposium on Computing and Philosophy: The Significance of Metaphor and Other Figurative Modes of Expression and Thought
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords metaphor; metaphorics; organism; mechanism; hypertext
Description Hypertextual linking of information is one of the basic principles of digital media. We suppose this principle to be discovered in metaphorical thinking with the help of the so-called absolute metaphors. We derive the notion of an absolute metaphor from Hans Blumenberg's metaphorology, and we interpret metaphors according to Max Black’s interaction theory. Our aim is to interpret these absolute metaphors as being open to new implications, just as they are open to a pragmatically determined dialectical interaction of organic and mechanical metaphorics. We follow the direction of interactions within these metaphorics in a philosophical attempt to explain the nature of mechanical and organic systems. In particular we will analyse the metaphors ‘association is trail’ (Bush), ‘computer is a clerk’ (Engelbart) and ‘hypertext is a Xanadu’ (Nelson). All these metaphors are both organic and mechanical. That is why we can say that hypertext is both an organic and mechanical system.
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