Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose

By Kenneth Burke | Go to book overview

ever at work moulding the qualities of our experience, as it sometimes induces us to single out those aspects of events which immediately reflect our interests, and at other times it trains our attention upon the selection of such means as will make events reflect our interests. It is in this sense that all action is poetic. Rockefeller's economic empire is as truly a symbolic replica of his personal character as Milton's epic was a symbolic replica of Milton. In both cases, the men "socialized" their specific patterns of interest by the manipulation of objective materials in a way whereby the internal and the external were indeterminately fused.


V
THE SEARCH FOR MOTIVES

Magical and Scientific Interpretation

IN THE rationalizations of magic, the poetic nature of thought and action was not explicitly stated, but it was implicitly acknowledged at every point. The rituals of "homeopathic magic" whereby the savage attempts to coerce the processes of the universe are precisely those of the "pathetic fallacy." In the magical rationalization, the verbal and mimetic devices whereby men induce one another to respond in sympathy were transferred to the field of

-275-

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Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Permanence and Change - An Anatomy of Purpose *
  • Contents 7
  • Part I- On Interpretation 11
  • I- Orientation 11
  • II- Motives 30
  • III- Occupational Psychosis 54
  • IV- Style 71
  • V- Magic, Religion, and Science 82
  • Part II- Perspective by Incongruity 95
  • I- The Range of Piety 95
  • II- New Meanings 106
  • III- Perspective as Metaphor 118
  • IV- Argument by Analogy 128
  • V- Secular Conversions 164
  • VI- Meaning and Regression 193
  • Conclusion 207
  • Part III- The Basis of Simplification 214
  • I- Causality and Communication 214
  • II- Permanence and Change 227
  • III- Secular Mysticism in Bentham 237
  • IV- The Ethical Confusion 247
  • V- The Search for Motives 275
  • VI- Occupation and Preoccupation 303
  • VII- The Poetry of Action 316
  • Conclusions 336
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