Some Reflections on Seeing-as, Metaphor-Grasping and Imagining

Kathleen Stock


In this paper I examine the frequently made claim that grasping a metaphor is a kind of ‘seeing-as’. I describe several ways in which it might be thought that metaphor-grasping is importantly similar to seeing-as, such that an extension of the latter category is though justified to include the former. For some of these similarities, I suggest they are illusory; for others, I argue that they are shared in virtue of the membership of both seeing-as and metaphor-grasping in some much broader category, and so don’t obviously motivate thinking of metaphor-grasping as seeing-as. My aim is modest: not to deny that metaphor-grasping is a kind of seeing-as, but only to suggest that it should not be too quickly accepted.


Wittgenstein; Aesthetics; Seeing-as; Metaphor; Imagination

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