Along with need and taste (in all three modes above), the notion of absorption constitutes a third and crucial trait of the alimentative metaphor.
An ethos that in one circumstance might easily be alimentative, in another becomes distasteful.
An example of how the alimentative metaphor might help create a hermeneutics of mediated embodiment comes from the political events of 1989.
It is possible to ask another question of mediated embodiment that borrows from Deleuze and relies on the alimentative metaphor for comprehension: "how do these characters sustain themselves relationally?" Here the emphasis shifts from one salient but static moment to how each action and reaction shifts the modality of affiliation between the major protagonists.
Terrence's apothegm was echoed in Dilthey's notion of verstehen and more recently in Davidson's principle of charity in his influential challenge to "conceptual relativism." (48) The alimentative metaphor proposed here also helps collapse the distance between spectator and the moving image, no matter how old or potentially alienating in its technology.