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Deception, Politics and Aesthetics: The Importance of Hobbes’s Concept of Metaphor
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2014 (English)In: Contemporary Political Theory, ISSN 1470-8914, Vol. 13, no 2, 112-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, we have witnessed renewed interest in metaphors in political theory. In this context, Hobbes’s theory of metaphor is of great importance as it helps us understand aesthetic qualities in theory and politics. This article argues that in the work of Hobbes – often portrayed as hostile to the use of metaphor, especially so by himself – there is a remarkable discrepancy between his professed enmity to metaphor and his own use of the very word ‘metaphor’. In a philosopher who censures conceptual imprecision, we ␣nd a fundamentally inconsistent and ever-changing use of this key term. This inconsistency can be accounted for if we relate it to Hobbes’s own often neglected poetics and his theory of the need for conceptual innovation. This will help solve riddles that have haunted Hobbes studies. Moreover, we must discover Hobbes’s theory of metaphor as a source of potential insights into the way in which political and theoretical languages operate with regard to aesthetic pleasure through linguistic change. Hobbes’s theory can thus make us understand the importance of something being new, that is, how theoretical languages need novelty in order to be pleasant and persuasive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Vol. 13, no 2, 112-129 p.
Keyword [en]
Thomas Hobbes; Aristotle; metaphor; political philosophy; images; aesthetics
National Category
Philosophy History of Ideas Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-216408DOI: 10.1057/cpt.2013.18ISI: 000334474900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-216408DiVA: diva2:689662
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Tralau, Johan
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