Trope theory is a new development in ontology. It’s been around for a few decades.

Traditional ontology deals with universals, meaning things like ‘redness’ or ‘being a cat‘. A red cat would ‘instantiate’ those two universals somehow.

A trope is an abstract particular; a particular shade of red, a particular mood, a particular whatever.

(In rhetoric, by the way, a trope is a figure of speech. Nothing to do with this kind of trope.)

So instead of ‘being a zen master’ in general, you’d be dealing with the particular situtation that Until today, it really pissed me off that I'd become this totally centered Zen Master and nobody had noticed. For example.

So what, you say. Why should I give a rat’s?. Well for one thing, it shows that philosophy is making progress.

And this: every e2 node describes a trope, nothing more nothing less. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Trope (?), n. [L. tropus, Gr. , fr. to turn. See Torture, and cf. Trophy, Tropic, Troubadour, Trover.] Rhet. (a)

The use of a word or expression in a different sense from that which properly belongs to it; the use of a word or expression as changed from the original signification to another, for the sake of giving life or emphasis to an idea; a figure of speech.


The word or expression so used.

In his frequent, long, and tedious speeches, it has been said that a trope never passed his lips. Bancroft.

⇒ Tropes are chiefly of four kinds: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony. Some authors make figures the genus, of which trope is a species; others make them different things, defining trope to be a change of sense, and figure to be any ornament, except what becomes so by such change.


© Webster 1913.

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