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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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Light as a Metaphor for Truth

Light as a Metaphor for Truth

At the Preliminary Stage of Philosophical Concept Formation (1957)

(p.129) 6 Light as a Metaphor for Truth
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses Hans Blumenberg's essay, “Light as a Metaphor for Truth” (1957). With this essay, Blumenberg formulated the seed of the project for which he is, at least in Germany, best known: his “metaphorology.” While metaphorology initially seemed to be an extension of conceptual history — a research project aimed at investigating the semantic changes to central concepts of philosophy — it at the same time called into question the very centrality of concepts and terminologies as the only and authentic bearers of philosophical thought. Instead, it makes the case for studying the role pre- and nonconceptual speech plays in the language of philosophy. Where traditionally theories of truth would be interpreted in terms of their propositional content or logical validity, Blumenberg's article instead looks at the metaphors with which truth is described and which operate, as he puts it in the subtitle, “At the Preliminary Stage of Concept Formation.”

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, metaphorology, philosophy, philosophical thought, speech, language of philosophy, metaphors, conceptual history

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