It€s not just what you say, but how you say it: An exploration of the moral dimensions of metaphor and the phenomenology of narrative

Traci Warkentin


Although there is a more visceral and, perhaps, longer lasting influence in oral narratives than in written ones, the ethical dimensions of both imply several layers of moral responsibility due to the intersubjective nature of the acts. Through a discussion of narrative ethics and phenomenology, I assert the potential for language, in general, and metaphor, in particular, in fostering biocentric ethics. I define a particular biocentric ethics as a process of intersubjective empathy through embodied experiences with other beings, and suggest both an emphasis on spoken/written metaphor and a practice of ‘metaphorical imaginative embodiment’ as potential ways of nurturing such an ethics.

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