Logical Gal goes metaphysical

8 Nov

Today is the anniversary of my Grandmother’s birth in 1885.   So I’ve been thinking about icons who have died.  Two weeks from now, many will commemorate the 50th anniversary of CS Lewis’ death.  Much has been written about him in the previous 10 months as we approach 22 November.  And yesterday, I read an essay that discussed……

…Lewis’ commitment to reason among other communicative tools.

But what was intriguing  in the article was CS Lewis’ conviction that meaning precedes reason.  And imagination is necessary to produce meaning.

Access to article

Imagination….meaning…….metaphors…….metanymy:  these serve to make TERMS comprehensive.  And establishing clarity when we use our terms is the first step in logical reasoning.

Metanymy uses a symbol to represent or substitute for a broader concept.  My husband and I used to pick at our youngest son when he would say – “Let’s go get ‘Burger King’!”

He didn’t really mean Burger King food;  he often used BK to indicate fast food.

And you know what a metaphor is.  That’s when you describe something in borrowed language that communicates more vividly the true meaning.   God is our Rock.   That image conveys the idea of strength..immovability…permanence…protection.

Back to CS Lewis:  I think he chose fiction as a way to create mind pictures and understanding of  such concepts as God, eternity, divine love,  human pettiness and the limited vision of men BEFORE he attempted to argue a case.

Maybe we, as well, should spend more time painting a vivid picture of reality before we attempt to persuade someone with sound reasoning. After all, few would disagree that as humans, we are imaginative folk.  From an early age, we seem to long for the heroic amidst challenging life situations.  The enduring need to both create and consume literature, film, and art testifies to our make up.

So, taking our cue from CS Lewis, let us not put the cart before the horse.  Let’s spend enough time communicating well our terms and ideas.

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