This essay reads Joseph Addison’ views on imagination and on a set of interrelated tropes—wit, metaphor, personification—from the perspective afforded by the interaction view of metaphor. By adopting this analytical standpoint, the essay documents how Addison relies, often unwittingly, on a propositional model of signification in order to put forward his strongest claims on literary language, imagination, and aesthetic judgment. Such a model constitutes a significant departure from Addison's starting point, the referential model of signification that premises and circumscribes John Locke's account of rhetorical language. This reading offers not only a synthesizing account of Addison's views across a range of texts, but it also enables a new and more nuanced placement of Addison in eighteenth-century aesthetics.

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