Here’s the thing though for me: I don’t see a diametric opposition to metaphor.
Allow me to go deeper in:
What brings us to gauge by opposites? What makes that such a critical factor? It is embedded in our everyday language right over to the language we use for logic and our understand of such.
The furthest I can trace it back to is: Law of Excluded Middle.
You have 0. You have 1. You have no inbetween. That which is inbetween can be discarded.
It is this “elimination” of potentially valuable content that I’m trying to move away from in this.
Rather than a reduction, I’m working towards a broadening. Generalizing rather than specifying.
But I *do* have some criteria:
a) all context can be included in ascertaining truth values.
b) etymology matters. Where does this word come from? How is it used? What concepts seem to lie underneath the word to help bring focus on it’s original meaning and how does that bear on our usage today?
c) dictionaries are the result of human effort, crystalizing a “typical usage situation”. But what if one were to remove or reduce the glossary-use of “meaning” and find the concept that helps underpin it?
Once you begin unraveling language and meaning in this way, you begin to see metaphors in many unexpected places.
Our current *usage* of a word might not seem to be metaphorical but if you trace it back through history you begin to find that we are, in fact, using metaphors *as* “literals” – as “concretes”.
*All* language is poetry of meaning and metaphor. This may sound like “fluff” talk but it’s not. Not at all.
If you want to discover deeper connections between concepts and create a novel rule structure for meaning, returning to what amounts to a technical dictionary moves us away from fundamental meaning and back into a controlled language situation, which I’m attempting to avoid.
In any stream of text, you’ll find either present or historical metaphors. These metaphors typically resolve to some very physical objects.
This is indeed where things get interesting, because meaning is often built upon that which we can see / hear / taste / touch and most importantly, *use as metaphors” that become embedded in the language itself. to assist us in ascertaining truth-value about… whatever we’re describing.
Ok: This is why I don’t talk about this much. I get positively religious sounding about it.
Also, it may appear that I’m presenting a “glossary use” of language as diametrically opposed to metaphor. But rather, I’m presenting a glossary use of language as being _incorporated into_ the field of metaphorical language. I ultimately see all language as metaphorical and not only that, but any language.
One might consider that too broad to be useful but it’s not because building a “metaphorical glossary” as a way to incorporate all glossaries/dictionaries within – might allow a deeper structure of meaning to emerge.
How the heck I could do that, I don’t know yet. Might just be a big waste of time to even bring up the idea. But it has my passion.
getting this ‘out’, while it may or may not have clarified my thinking to you (I’m hoping it did but it just might have made things more confusing for you, as I don’t know your basic assumptions behind things) – it *did* help me realize my next stage this process, which is working with an etymological dictionary. So, I found one:
http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~demelo/etymwn/ Wordnet’s Etymological dictionary. .Should’ve downloaded it years ago. This will help me in my project. Thank you