Nowhere to Go Kafka, A Philosophical Study

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Airaksinen , T 2017 , ' Nowhere to Go Kafka, A Philosophical Study ' , Munich Social Science Review , vol. 1 , no. 1 , pp. 91-110 .

Title: Nowhere to Go Kafka, A Philosophical Study
Author: Airaksinen, Timo
Contributor organization: Faculty of Social Sciences
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 20
Belongs to series: Munich Social Science Review
ISSN: 0170-2521
Abstract: Two linguistic tropes structure the main narrative line of The Castle and The Trial, namely, meeting and visiting. The first is a high metaphor and the second a lowly metonym. To be more specific, meeting is here a dynamic and vertical, normatively loaded metaphor of people moving from higher positions to lover and others at least trying to transfer upwards from low to high. When they succeed they meet, otherwise they miss each other. To meet is to recognize and hence to form an ad hoc social unit. Friends meet, lovers meet, business partners meet, but enemies never meet in the same sense; therefore, meeting is a metaphor of unity. Bodies touch, they never meet, only souls do, if they do. In this sense, meeting is a linguistic trope, a metaphor, devoid of real world reference. When you say you want to meet someone significant the de dicto desire is perfectly understandable: meeting in this sense has its meaningful interpretation. Yet, its de re object looks essentially undefined as we do not know what it would be, at least not before you narrate the de dicto object in full, which, alas, is a Herculean challenge. In fact, recognition as a metaphor follows from amassing meaning on recognition as seeing something as something, like “to recognize a Ferrari in traffic.” When you see recognition in terms of meeting of souls you have done it but it has been a long way to travel along the linguistic highway. For Kafka, society is and remains rigidly stratified; the high and mighty and the lowly ordinary people do not meet or mix, yet they occasionally come to contact when the high descend to the lower levels; what happens then is what Kafka tells about. He tells stories about their lack of success.
Description: MSSR 1/1 (2018) also contains two comment articles on my original paper: C. Avramescu, "Meaning of Meaning of Kafka"; and V. Benacek, "Nowhere to Go Humanity."
Subject: 611 Philosophy
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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