Light and metaphor: a look at space and meaning The Author examines metaphors in relation to the architecture of the mind, with its internal spaces as well as its light and dark spots. Metaphors have always been relevant in philosophy, poetics, rhetoric and we may recall Aristotle’s enlightening claim that "The greatest thing, by far, is to be a master of metaphor", which, for him, meant giving a thing a name that properly belongs to something else. For Aristotle the function of metaphor extends beyond poetry and into common discourse because metaphors have the advantage of enhancing fast learning and knowledge. Good metaphors, in fact, are far from being banal or extravagant, just as "in philosophy it is sagacious to see the similarities in very different things". Through condensation and substitution, metaphors allow boundaries of different areas of meaning and psychic levels to be crossed, making connections that constitute new meanings. Metaphoric constructions contribute to giving form to subjective interactions. Our metaphoric potential does not unfold entirely in an area of public linguistic lucidity: it involves also the "obscure" depths of our affective life as well as our intellectual and formal achievements. And while the intrinsic mechanism by which metaphors are constructed is, in fact, a complex process, paradoxically it enhances the understanding of levels that common language would prevent.
Keywords: Metafora, analogia, allegoria, spazio intrapsichico, inconscio, significato