Davidson on Metaphorical Meaning: A Reply to Stainton

Dialogue 42 (02):355- (2003)
That the central thesis of Donald Davidson’s classic article on metaphor “What Metaphor Means” (WMM) is ambiguous between a weak and a strong interpretation is the primary claim that I sought to establish in my article “Sentence Meaning, Speaker Meaning, and Davidson’s Denial of Metaphorical Meaning.” In addition to this, I argued that the weak claim is trivially true and the strong claim is obviously false. Therefore, I concluded that when the central thesis of WMM is disambiguated, it is insignificant. Finally, I explained the ambiguity in that thesis in terms of Davidson’s neglect in WMM for the concept of speaker meaning and this, in turn, in terms of a certain theoretical orientation to language that Davidson held at the time of writing WMM. In his commentary on my article, “Speaker Meaning and Davidson on Metaphor: A Reply to McGuire,” Robert J. Stainton raises objections to several of the foregoing claims. In this article, I review and defend each of these claims against Stainton’s objections.
Keywords Donald Davidson  speaker meaning  sentence meaning  metaphor  metaphorical meaning  Robert Stainton
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DOI 10.1017/S001221730000456X
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Simon Evnine (1991). Donald Davidson. Stanford University Press.

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