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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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Observations Drawn from Metaphors

Observations Drawn from Metaphors


(p.209) 9 Observations Drawn from Metaphors
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores Hans Blumenberg's “Observations Drawn from Metaphors” (1971). This work is an attempt to update the metaphorological project by extending research matter from the tropes of strictly philosophical texts to contemporary discourse in the form of journalistic debates, political strategies, scientific projects, and quotidian speech. Blumenberg also discusses typological procedures. To many, they appear to be some kind of display of wares to choose from, that is, as the preliminary stage to a decisionist act. But that is not the primary function of typology. Its primary function is the virtual opposite: it neutralizes decisionist processes that have already occurred by trying to present the complete field of possibilities, that is, confronting prejudice with the judgments that would have been possible in the first place, and by retroactively supplying it with what still is. The decisionist character of preconceived “opinions” becomes transparent with regard to what has not at all been consulted in the life-world and therefore could also not at all have been eliminated.

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, metaphors, metaphorology, journalistic debates, political strategies, scientific projects, quotidian speech, typological procedures, typology, decisionist processes

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