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2 definitions by JBlum

 
1.
An extended metaphor that creates its own context.

Created by Paul Avion and based on Alfred Jarry's science of 'pataphysics (the science of that which extends beyond metaphysics), a pataphor attempts to create a figure of speech that exists as far from metaphor as metaphor exists from non-figurative language.

Also, when an idea seems to take on a life of its own.

An assumption based on an assumption.

2 degrees of separation from reality.
"When the new teacher snubbed me, I thought it was because I failed the test.

When I learned the teacher hadn't seen me, I realized I had been thinking in pataphor, creating an assumption based on an assumption."

"That's all in your mind, fool; strictly pataphor."

"Because string theory is speculation based on ideas that are themselves speculative (i.e., theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics), quantum calculations are, increasingly, not describing an actual reality, but are mathematical pataphors." See also pataphysics.
by JBlum May 31, 2007
 
2.
'Pataphysics, a term coined by the French writer Alfred Jarry, is a philosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. It is a parody of the theory and methods of modern science and is often expressed in nonsensical language. A practitioner of 'pataphysics is a 'pataphysician or a 'pataphysicist.

'Pataphysics is also defined by Jarry as the "science of imaginary solutions."

According to Jarry, the apostrophe (') is always added before the word to avoid a pun in French.

(The exact pun to be avoided is the subject of some debate. The debate itself -- being, in essense, a debate about a subject which may not truly exist, but exist as another joke by Jarry -- might itself be considered a 'pataphysical search, for an "imaginary solution" to an imaginary problem!)
Because string theory is speculation based on ideas that are themselves speculative (i.e., theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics), string theory is not in fact physics, but 'pataphysics.

Likewise, string theory and quantum calculations are, increasingly, not descriptive of an actual reality, but are simply mathematical pataphors. (P. Lopez) See also pataphor.
by JBlum May 31, 2007