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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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Metaphor and Parable


Zoltán Kövecses


In recent years, several scholars have attempted to reinterpret the nature of traditional literary figures, such as parable, allegory, and symbol. It was especially tempting to compare and contrast conceptual metaphors with parable and allegory.1 The reason for this possibly is that in both of these latter figures we can find, or at least assume the presence of, two domains that are systematically related to each other. In a way, we can see in them the functioning of a source and target domain and a set of systematic mappings between them. Scholars used the framework of conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) to deal with such other figures, suggesting similarities and differences between conceptual metaphors and parables, as well as other figures.

In the present paper, I will perform the same exercise. I take some of the fundamental tenets of CMT and see how closely they apply to some typical examples of parables. The fundamental ideas of CMT that I examine in relation to parables include: the nature of the source and target domain (section 2), the systematic mappings between the source and target (section 3), the issue of the origin of the mappings (from source or from target? – section 4), the cognitive function of conceptual metaphor (section 5), the kind of conceptual structure involved in the mappings (section 6), the basis, or grounding, of the mapping (section 7), the provenance of the source domains (section 8), the metaphorical homogeneity of...

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