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The Epistemology of Metaphors, Literature and Knowledge after Paul de Man

Oliver Simons, of Columbia University, presents The Epistemology of Metaphors, Literature and Knowledge after Paul de Man

Metaphors have always been a source of embarrassment for philosophers, Paul de Man once famously argued. Can philosophical discourse control the figurality of its language and become as rigorous as the sciences? Can philosophers free themselves from the figurative power of language, from figuration altogether? After revisiting de Man’s essay, this talk will focus on Michel Foucault’s and Gilles Deleuze’s epistemological writings and discuss their penchant for certain images and metaphors against the backdrop of scientific models of knowledge. Seeking an exact language of exactitude, both Foucault and Deleuze structure their poetics in accordance with scientific methods, but do they succeed in doing so? Can they develop a precise discourse and resolve the conflict between literature and science?

For more information please contact May Mergenthaler.

germanic.osu.edu

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