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Thinking Allegory Otherwise$
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Brenda Machosky

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763806

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.001.0001

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Allegory Without Ideas

Allegory Without Ideas

(p.9) One Allegory Without Ideas
Thinking Allegory Otherwise

Angus J.S. Fletcher

Stanford University Press

This chapter addresses the problem of thinking allegory otherwise and challenges the role of metaphysics in allegory by thinking about allegory without reference to ideas. It reconsiders the allegorical tradition against what it has become and suggests a new “origin” with connections to ancient philosophy (Aristotle), medieval challenges to universalism (William of Ockham), and modern theories of nominalism (Willard Van Orman Quine). The allegory without ideas described in this chapter asks how the idea can be situated and placed in a variety of ambiguous and vague possibilities, for this strange allegorical style seeks to create the dreams descending from William of Ockham. The allegory without ideas systematically represents power relations with what proves to be an increasingly secular, pragmatic, and materialist set of operations.

Keywords:   allegory, metaphysics, ancient philosophy, Aristotle, universalism, William of Ockham, nominalism, Willard Van Orman Quine, power relations

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