© 2012, Joel Morrow


This paper will be investigating the largely unexamined questions that arise when the general question is asked: why do we allude instead of refer? I will be dealing with this matter as ultimately a question of aesthetics, but only insofar as common approaches to 'aesthetic questions' become inadequate. Accordingly, I will be employing my own methodology, shaped by the question of what I will call 'aestheticality.' With this special approach, I will attempt to uncover the conditions for the possibility that an allusion may be in such a way that it provokes aesthetic attention. Prior to this, I will carry out a short examination the most relevant study I've found towards my topic, W.T. Irwin's "The Aesthetics of Allusion", with the intention of contextualizing my own investigation within a more common approach to aesthetic questions, and particularly the aesthetic question of allusion. However, through my own investigation, I will attempt to substantiate Irwin's descriptive claims about the 'aesthetics' of allusion, with my own theoretical claims about the conditions of its aestheticality, hoping to articulate a more philosophically significant conception of how allusiveness works within the dynamics of meaning and language.

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