David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sally and Sid have worked together for a while, and Sally knows Sid to be a hard worker. She might make this point about him by saying, “Sid is a hard worker.” Or, she might make it by saying, “Sid is a Sherman tank.” We all recognize that there is some distinction between the first assertion, in which Sally is speaking literally, and the second, in which she is speaking figuratively. This is a distinction that any theory of figurative language worth its salt should capture. But, as I will argue, it is a distinction that contemporary accounts of figurative language fail to successfully explain. This is because such theories have been mostly concerned to explore the nature of figurative understanding and the status of figurative meanings. Perhaps proponents of these theories suppose that, by appealing to a special kind of figurative meaning, we can eventually explain the difference between speaking literally and speaking figuratively. I believe this approach gets the order of explanation backwards. I contend that accounts of figurative meaning and understanding can only be fully articulated against a prior account of the distinction between figurative and literal language. What’s more, once my account of figurative language is in place, we can begin to see why people bother speaking figuratively at all, or so I will argue.
|Keywords||Figurative Literal Metaphor Contextualism Speech Acts|
|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
Catherine Wearing (2012). Metaphor, Idiom, and Pretense. Noûs 46 (3):499-524.
Ted Cohen (1975). Figurative Speech and Figurative Acts. Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):669-684.
Alexander J. Doherty (2002). Aquinas on Scriptural Metaphor and Allegory. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:183-192.
Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber (2002). Truthfulness and Relevance. Mind 111 (443):632583-.
James Gasser (1999). Logic and Metaphor. History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (3-4):227-238.
James Grant (2011). Metaphor and Criticism BSA Prize Essay, 2010. British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (3):237-257.
John H. Whittaker (1981). Literal and Figurative Language of God. Religious Studies 17 (1):39 - 54.
Mark Phelan (2010). The Inadequacy of Paraphrase is the Dogma of Metaphor. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):481-506.
Hugh Bredin (1992). The Literal and the Figurative. Philosophy 67 (259):69 - 80.
Roger M. White (2001). Literal Meaning and “Figurative Meaning”. Theoria 67 (1):24-59.
Elisabeth Camp (2006). Metaphor in the Mind: The Cognition of Metaphor. Philosophy Compass 1 (2):154-170.
William Lycan (2013). An Irenic Idea About Metaphor. Philosophy 88 (01):5-32.
Added to index2010-12-01
Total downloads51 ( #31,693 of 1,101,577 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #81,941 of 1,101,577 )
How can I increase my downloads?