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Beyond Words

Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes


Edited By András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri

Human thinking depends not only on words but also on visual imagery. Visual argumentation directly exploits the logic of the pictorial, while verbal arguments, too, draw on figurative language, and thus ultimately on images. In the centuries of handwritten documents and the printed book, our educational culture has been a predominantly verbal one. Today the challenge of the pictorial is explicit and conspicuous. In the digital world, we are experiencing an unprecedented wealth of images, animations and videos. But how should visual content be combined with traditional texts? This volume strives to present a broad humanities background showing how going beyond the word was always an issue in, and by now has become an inevitable challenge to, pedagogy and philosophy.
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to the first volume of the VISUAL LEARNING series, and have repeated and updated that narrative in the second volume. On the present occasion let me just point out, as I did in the Preface to the fourth volume, too, that taking up research directed at visual education was clearly in the tradition of the Department where, for quite some time already, methods of atypical learning had been intensively studied.

At the fifth conference in our VISUAL LEARNING conference series, held on November 14–15, 2014, altogether 36 papers were presented, with submissions having passed a blind peer-review process. The papers selected and written up for inclusion in the present volume again underwent blind peer-reviewing. Ultimately, the volume consists of twenty-three edited chapters, arranged into five sections.

The first section, IMAGE, METAPHOR, SYMBOL, opens with Philipp Stoellger’s paper “Living Images and Images We Live By”. As Stoellger makes it explicit, speaking of images we live by of course evokes the conceptual metaphor theory of Lakoff and Johnson. However, and this is a main point Stoellger emphasizes, the conceptual pattern investigated by Lakoff and Johnson should not be merely reconstructed in language, i. e. in metaphorical concepts, but also in images – as Stoellger puts it, in iconic concepts. “We live by” will then “no longer only mean ‘we speak’ by”, but “perceive, act, behave, evaluate, think, and feel by”. The second chapter in this section, by Zoltán Kövecses, systematically compares the phenomena of metaphor and...

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