Surrejoinder To Peter Macky -- By: Gordon H. Clark
Surrejoinder To Peter Macky
If a reply is often proper and if a rejoinder sometimes is, a surrejoinder is usually superfluous. This one seems to me an exception because Professor Macky’s rejoinder strikes me as a subterfuge.
Macky’s rejoinder discusses the value of metaphorical language and in particular C. S. Lewis’ own individual slant on the subject. Macky says, “Clark ·. . clearly is not familiar with the particular theory of metaphor that Lewis presents.” Now in the first place I am not interested in Lewis’ theory as such nor in any other author’s modification of the general position. My objections are directed against the common core of them all. Basically a metaphor states that X is like Y. But it never states what that likeness is, for if it did the metaphor would be superseded by literal language. Since there is always a number of likenesses between any two objects, the reader without additional information cannot logically determine what likeness is intended. Hence the value of metaphor is either aesthetic or it is a device to avoid making one’s opinion public.
However, Macky’s rejoinder is a subterfuge because my reply’s main point had little to do with any theory of metaphor. Since some or even many readers of JETS may have seen few or even none of my publications, my main purpose was to warn them that Macky had seriously misrepresented my views. He assigned to me certain opinions that my writings explicitly and repeatedly contradict. I will with pleasure argue any day and with anyone concerning metaphors, or I will with pleasure compete with him in chess. But he must not say that I used the King’s Gambit when I began with the English Opening. This is not a metaphor. It is a literal example.
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