RQ: Bogost, “Metaphorism” (61-84)


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Ian Bogost’s “Metaphorism: Speculating About the Unknowable Inner Lives of Units” (61-84) The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

How does human perception account for the interaction between objects? What are the limits of human perception when it comes to understanding the relations between objects?

What tools does science give us to understand the relationships between objects? What does Bogost say that Scientific Naturalism cannot explain and why might this be a problem?

What does Bogost mean by Alien Phenomenology? Where/How does Alien Phenomenology differ from Nagel’s, “objective phenomenology”?

What does Bogost mean by caricature?

How does anthropomorphizing, somewhat ironically, call our attention to the process of characterization that occurs anytime humans encounter objects?

What is metaphorism?

How is the Foveon sensor a “concrete example of metaphorism in practice” (71)?

What challenge does metaphorism issue to problems of ethics (73)? For example, what happens if you argue, “no matter what sort of thing a unit is, it ought to have the right to be preserved and not destroyed” (74)?

Do things have a moral practice?



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