If a speaker's thoughts were directly manifested without the mediation of words, there would be no tragedy. We exist and act in tragedy only on the condition that we speak see Derrida Lexis exists, and metaphor with it, to the extent that thought is not manifested directly of itself. Stated differently, lexis [metaphor] exists because the sense of thought is not a phenomenon in itself. However, the theory of metaphor remains a theory of sense and supposes a certain naturalness in this figure - the lumens naturale - where nature is believed to be the active part and makes a gift of itself, but even if it does, or if it would, it does so in metaphor 5 mimesis.
The idea that Nature makes a gift of itself is a metaphor. If one would forget the metaphor for a moment, one could ask: How would such a gift be possible? A gift always has a giver and a receiver, so who gives and who receives? Does matter give itself to be revealed and in that sense, determines the revelation - the basis for materialism?
Or does humanity give the form, the ideal in which matter is cast, or grasped, and only through the form and cast has meaning - idealism?
Or are these two alternatives not opposites, but rather the same - two metaphors, the one casting and grasping, the other giving and revealing? Whatever happens, it happens in metaphor. The link between physis and lexis is metaphor, or mimesis. It happens in metaphor, but that it happens in metaphor is forgotten. In metaphor, matter is presented, imitated, represented, made present by the activity of mimesis , either as giving, revealing or grasping and casting, and this is taken or received as true.
It is taken as a matter of fact, on the basis of a belief that imitation, the representation, or the presentation is accurate, and that it correlates with reality, and because of this correlation, it is therefore truthful. That the link, the mediator, is truthful and therefore trustworthy, is vitally important for humanity.
Truth as aletheia is that which is unveiled, unconcealed and believed to be truly the matter, or the matter of fact. This requirement links metaphor mimesis to truth: 'What makes metaphor possible what makes good and true metaphor possible is what makes truth possible' Derrida One could make peace with metaphor as long as there is believed to be some natural link, that metaphor, mimesis is part of nature. At times, mimesis can be read as something that seems to be inherent in physis , in other words, it is part of the nature of things to reveal themselves.
As physis is revealed through mimesis, it must be believed that mimesis naturally belongs to physis. It is one of physis' natural characteristics, as physis includes its own exteriorisation and its double see Derrida This means that mimesis is a natural movement, but of what?
Is it the natural movement of matter or the natural movement of logos, which is the natural movement of human reason, thinking and understanding? Mimesis belongs to logos and therefore, in Aristotle, it is a special characteristic of humans as it is natural to humans. For Aristotle, it is what defines the human animal, namely the ability to imitate and thereby to create meaning.
Animals and plants can mimic or ape, but they cannot create meaning through mimesis. In this sense, only humans are world-creating, as Heidegger would later argue and animals are poor in world, whilst plants and stones are without world. Aristotle argues that mimesis is a natural movement, the natural movement of the logos of humanity, as mimesis is the proper natural or essential property of humanity.
For Aristotle, only humanity imitates:. He alone takes pleasure in imitating, learns to imitate and learns by imitation. The power of truth, as an unveiling of nature physis by mimesis , is a congenital property of man as a physical being. Derrida The naturalness of mimesis metaphor or poetry has two sources, but not as presumed one being a characteristic of physis , but both sources are 'natural' characteristics of humanity. The natural origin of poetry metaphor , the two sources, are both part of human nature according to Aristotle see Derrida It is natural for humanity to imitate, as humanity learns by imitation, and secondly, it is natural for humanity to delight in works of imitation.
These two causes or sources confirm that logos, mimesis and aletheia become one and the same possibility. How does one ensure that mimesis is true knowledge? The voice is the best organ for imitation. Thus, the natural link is found in the voice, which naturally imitates nature and thus binds mimesis, logos and aletheia together.
Thus, metaphor, an effect of mimesis and homoiosis , and a manifestation of analogy, will be a means of knowledge: a subordinate, but for all that a certain means of knowledge. We may say of it what is said of poetry: it is more philosophical and more serious than history, as it not only tells something particular, but also expresses what is general, probably, and necessary Derrida Yet, poetry has always had this ancillary status:.
What cannot be avoided is that metaphor is mimesis trying its chance, but it is always mimesis at risk. The ideal of any language, and of metaphor in particular:. This is the space of language, a space that is opened up by the differences between essence, the 'proper' and the accident. Hegel, whom Derrida once described as the last philosopher of the book and the first philosopher of writing Derrida , in his The Philosophy of Fine Arts , also takes on the idea of metaphor.
He argues that the role of metaphor the role of language is more natural as it is linked to the sensuous experience of matter see Derrida A word, in the first instance, designates something entirely sensuous nur etwas ganz sinnliches bedeutet. Hegel uses the example of grasping something or to comprehend something, in German fassen or begreifen.
The sensuous meaning of grasping something with one's hand is clear, yet this sensuous meaning is carried over into the intellectual Geistiges sphere of understanding and grasping a concept or a theory, where the sensual meaning of the hand grasping an apple is totally forgotten.
For Hegel, the metaphorical aspect is forgotten through general use, and through this general use, an expression that is not strictly accurate uneigentlich becomes what is eigentlich , and the metaphorical aspect is forgotten.
The metaphorical aspect of much of language is forgotten. Even in the language of science, metaphors are forgotten, in the sense that one forgets that they are metaphors and treats them as 'matters of fact'. For example, in biology, one speaks of cells, where one does not think of a prison or a monastery, but of a beehive.
This metaphor has forgotten that it is a metaphor and is understood as a concept or matter of fact. Are not all concepts metaphors see Derrida ? It is only after Nietzsche, and more even so with Heidegger, that the role of language shifted from mediator to the meta of metaphysics, and language became the house of being. Language, the creator of worlds and no longer just the mediator or the link. It is language, or more specifically, difference Austrag that gathers world and things into a simple onefold 7 Heidegger It is in this peal of stillness that humans dwell.
It is language that carries out the world in which humans dwell. It is this world, carried out via the difference between thing and world, where things gestate world and world grants things their place see Heidegger Things, the onta of onto logy, carry out a world via the process of mimesis and muthos. Yet, it is this world, onto logy see also Badiou that grants these things their place, it is the muthos in which things matter's movement and behaviour become visible and make sense.
Mythology is therefore figuration proper. Such is its secret, and the secret of its myth - of its truth - for the whole of Western consciousness. To be figuration proper, to be the proper figuration of the proper, is to realise properly - improperly-properly, as a supplement to propriety - the proper itself. Nature with all its 'powers' would never attain to its truth without the double process of natural and figurative 'theogony', effective and represented in consciousness, presenting itself, uttering itself in its mythos Nancy Meta-poetics, meta-metaphor and meta-metaphysics. Philosophy, as the philosophy Aristotle, Ricoeur, Heidegger and Derrida have, can offer various theses, theories and interpretations of metaphor.
Yet, that theory, thesis or interpretation will always be a philosophical discourse 'the whole surface of which is worked by metaphor' Derrida Therefore, it is not so much that metaphor is in the text of philosophy, but rather that texts of philosophy are in metaphor see Derrida Can we ignore the sleep of philosophy?
Can one ignore the forgetfulness of philosophy 8? What name must be given to all these tropes that have structured all these philosophical oppositions that were believed to be fundamental or structuring or originating? The meta-structuring concepts, theories, paradigms or ideas?
Yet, each of these theories, concepts remain metaphors. Would one therefore need to find a metaphor of metaphor? Or in Bachelard's view, a meta-poetics Derrida ? What would be necessary is a poetics of philosophy? It is impossible to get a grip on metaphor, to get a grip on poetics, as the only tool to get a grip begreifen is via the dual process of mimesis and muthos, in other words: metaphor.
The only tool that one has with which to understand metaphor and poetics is metaphor and poetics, and the result is a circular argument. In other words, philosophy cannot solve the problem of metaphor, or stated differently, metaphysics cannot solve the question of metaphysics:.