Making Sense of Metaphors: Visuality,
Aurality, and the Reconfiguration of American Legal Discourse
16 Cardozo Law Review 241 (1994); reprinted by permission of the Cardozo Law Review

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Notes: Conclusion

715. To this extent I would disagree with Richard Rorty, who has argued that "[a] historical epoch dominated by Greek ocular metaphors may, I suggest, yield to one in which the philosophical vocabulary incorporating these metaphors seems as quaint as the animistic vocabulary of pre-classical times." Rorty, supra note 536, at 11.

716. See generally Catharine A. MacKinnon, "Difference and Dominance: On Sex Discrimination," in Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law 32, 39 (1987) ("I am critical of affirming what we have been, which necessarily is what we have been permitted, as if it is women's, ours, possessive.").

717. For a discussion of the importance of "reclaiming the visual" in feminism in particular, see Ellen L. Fox, "Seeing Through Women's Eyes: The Role of Vision in Women's Moral Theory," in Explorations in Feminist Ethics: Theory and Practice 111 (Eve B. Cole & Susan Coultrop-McQuin eds., 1992); Diane Shoos, "The Female Subject of Popular Culture," 7 Hypatia 215 (1992); see also Donna Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective," 14 Feminist Stud. 575, 582 (1988) ("I want a feminist writing of the body that metaphorically emphasizes vision again, because we need to reclaim that sense to find our way through all the visualizing tricks and powers of modern sciences and technologies that have transformed the objectivity debates.").

718. See generally Don Ihde, Technics and Praxis 82-92 (1979); Martin Jay, Force Fields: Between Intellectual History and Cultural Critique 102-04 (1993); Neil Evernden, "Seeing and Being Seen: A Response to Susan Sontag's Essays on Photography," 68 Soundings 72 (1985); Stephen Houlgate, "Vision, Reflection and Openness: The Hegemony of Vision from a Hegelian Point of View," in Modernity, supra note 75, at 8. In the legal literature, see Rose, supra note 64, at 273.

719. On the modern TV- and film-inspired resurgence of gesture as a, and even the, visual medium, see Edmund Carpenter, "The New Languages", in Explorations In Communication, supra note 45, at 162, 170-71. For a brief discussion of the phenomenological qualities of gesture (comparing those with the qualities traditionally associated with sound), see Ong, supra note 75, at 147.


If television is ocularcentric-and in many ways it is-it nevertheless revisions the eye. The eye of ego consciousness, the eye of the reader of the book, arises within a cultural-historical moment in which the ego as disembodied spectator is invited to keep his or her eye, singular, fixed, and distant, upon the world. . . . The television eye, the ocularcentrism of the television experience, is of a quite different sort. . . . [T]he eye of television consciousness is re-minded of the body. Seduced by images, a seduction which is to be sure not without its problems, the eye of the television body is an emotional vision, a vision that is moved at a body level.
Romanyshyn, supra note 75, at 341.

721. As it arguably did in Marcel Duchamp's painting Nude Descending a Staircase and Giacomo Bella's Dog on a Leash.

722. Thus, the frequently experienced temptation to "exchange" gestures with an obnoxious or vulgar fellow-motorist . . . .

723. A phenomenologically compatible alternative to reconceiving vision in terms of gesture could involve reconceiving the act of seeing itself as an active mutual "glance" instead of a fixed, passive "gaze." For an extended discussion of the idea of the "glance" and its distinct phenomenological implications, see Deena Weinstein & Michael Weinstein, "On the Visual Constitution of Society: The Contributions of Georg Simmel and Jean-Paul Sartre to a Sociology of the Senses," 5 Hist. Eur. Ideas 349 (1984). On movies and television (with their hard cuts and constant perspective shifts) as promoters of a visual experience made up of discrete glances, as opposed to a fixed view or gaze, see Tyrwhitt, supra note 374, at 95.

724. "[T]he spoken word, the new orality, must face up to the technical apparatuses that support it and diffuse it with a rare efficiency, but at the same time condition and coopt it . . . . Franco Ferrarotti, The End of Conversation: The Impact of Mass Media on Modern Society 39 (1988).

725. See generally Raymond Gozzi, Jr. & W. Lance Haynes, "Electric Media and Electric Epistemology: Empathy at a Distance," 9 Critical Stud. in Mass Comm. 217 (1992); Dyson, supra note 505, at 95-117.

726. Thus, the loudspeaker or the incessant voice of the radio, both of which have historically been associated with the power of dictatorial regimes. On the use of these aural instrumentalities in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, see Schafer, supra note 474, at 91-92. In a more contemporary context Schafer has observed that "the intense amplification of popular music does not stimulate sociability so much as it expresses the desire to experience individuation . . . aloneness . . . disengagement." Id. at 96; see also Ackerman, supra note 166, at 187.

727. "[A]ural perception and oral expression neither presuppose nor guarantee a more 'personal' idea or use of knowledge. That the spoken word . . . lends itself less easily to apersonal forms of fixation and transmission than images or print, can no longer be taken as a truism. New techniques available to record (and process) spoken language . . . make the old divisions harder to maintain" . . . . Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object 119 (1983).