David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Examining literal meaning and the role it plays in the explanation of metaphor shows that the concept of meaning by itself is not powerful enough to answer questions about using and comprehending metaphorical utterances. A full theory of communication is required to give a positive account of metaphorical utterances. In "What Metaphors Mean," Donald Davidson uses his theory of meaning to clear up important confusions about metaphor and its accomplishments, but his account of metaphor is largely negative and leaves much to be explained. Davidson claims that a metaphor means only what the sentence used in the metaphor literally means. Anything else that a metaphor may prompt an interpreter to think is neither a meaning nor a cognitive content encoded in the metaphor and is not subject to linguistic conventions. He claims that the literal meaning of a sentence does play a role in a metaphorical utterance of the sentence, but he does not give a precise account of that role. An important insight in Davidson's account is that literal meaning does not tell the entire story of all important linguistic phenomena. In their book Relevance: Communication and Cognition, Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson give an account of metaphor that avoids Davidson's criticisms and goes beyond the vague positive comments he makes in his essay on metaphor. They propose a theory of communication that not only accommodates Davidson's theory of meaning but explains the role it plays in metaphorical utterances. Sperber and Wilson do not contradict Davidson, but they go beyond his claims and show how a metaphor does what it does. They claim that metaphorical utterances are not different in kind from literal utterances-both require the same interpretive abilities and procedures used in verbal communication. This claim is based on a view that limits the role of literal meaning not only in metaphor but in verbal communication generally
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Eva Feder Kittay (1984). The Identification of Metaphor. Synthese 58 (2):153 - 202.
Jakub Mácha (2011). Metaphor in the Twilight Area Between Philosophy and Linguistics. In P. Stalmaszczyk & K. Kosecki (eds.), Turning Points in the Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Peter Lang 159--169.
Lynne Tirrell (1991). Reductive and Nonreductive Simile Theories of Metaphor. Journal of Philosophy 88 (7):337-358.
Aaron Wilson (2011). Peirce Versus Davidson on Metaphorical Meaning. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 47 (2):117-135.
Mark A. Matienzo, On the Very Importance of the Metaphoric as Semantic to Communication, Understanding, and the Philosophy of Language.
Lynne Tirrell (1991). Seeing Metaphor as Seeing-As: Davidson's Positive View of Metaphor. Philosophical Investigations 14 (2):143-154.
Jakub Mácha (2012). Searle on Metaphor. Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (supplementary issue no. 2):186-197.
Robyn Carston (2010). Metaphor: Ad Hoc Concepts, Literal Meaning and Mental Images. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (3pt3):295-321.
C. J. L. Talmage (1994). Literal Meaning, Conventional Meaning and First Meaning. Erkenntnis 40 (2):213 - 225.
Ben Vedder (2002). On the Meaning of Metaphor in Gadamer's Hermeneutics. Research in Phenomenology 32 (1):196-209.
Alexander J. Doherty (2002). Aquinas on Scriptural Metaphor and Allegory. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:183-192.
Catherine Wearing (2006). Metaphor and What is Said. Mind and Language 21 (3):310–332.
Added to index2012-06-08
Total downloads9 ( #351,236 of 1,793,064 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #344,508 of 1,793,064 )
How can I increase my downloads?