The Philosophy of Rhetoric  

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"We shall do better to think of a meaning as though it were a plant that has grown—not a can that has been filled or a lump of clay that has been moulded."--The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936) by I. A. Richards


It is a false assumption "that metaphor is something special and exceptional in the use of language, a deviation from its normal mode of working, instead of the omnipresent principle of all its free action."--The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936) by I. A. Richards


"That metaphor is the omnipresent principle of language can be shown by mere observation. We cannot get through three sentences of ordinary fluid discourse without it, as you will be noticing throughout this iecture. Even in the rigid language of the settled sciences we do not eliminate or prevent it without great difficulty. In the semi-technicalised subjects, in aesthetics, politics, sociology, ethics, psychology, theory of language and so on, our constant chief difficulty is to discover how we are using it and how our supposedly fixed words are shifting their senses. In philosophy, above all, we can take no step safely without an unrelaxing awareness of the metaphors we, and our audience, may be employing; and though we may pretend to eschew them, we can attempt to do so only by detecting them. And this is the more true, the more severe and abstract the philosophy is."--The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936) by I. A. Richards

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The Philosophy of Rhetoric (Oxford University Press: New York and London, 1936) is a work by I. A. Richards.

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