David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 88 (7):337-358 (1991)
Metaphor is commonly taken to be an elliptical simile. This article offers a rational reconstruction of two types of simile theories of metaphor: reductive and non-reductive. Careful analysis shows the differences between these theories, but in the end, neither does the explanatory work it sets out to do. In assimilating metaphor to simile and simile to literal comparison, the reductive simile theory obscures what is most important to an account of metaphor: an account of what it is to interpret a bit of discourse metaphorically. The reductive simile theory fails because the reduction to literal comparison fails. The non-reductive simile theory faces most of the same problems that undermine the simile theory, particularly problems generating a corresponding simile when the metaphor contains quantificational terms and other linguistic complexities. Analysis of the non-reductive simile theory highlights the troublesome assumption (inherent in all simile theories) that metaphor and simile play the same linguistic role: making or prompting us to make comparisons. In both guises, the simile theory mistakes the task of explaining what a metaphor means with how metaphor (in general) has meaning; it confuses explanation with explication. In diagnosing and arguing against the simile theory, this article sets out a framework for understanding the difference between literal and metaphorical interpretation.
|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
Catherine Wearing (2012). Metaphor, Idiom, and Pretense. Noûs 46 (3):499-524.
Anders Engstrøm (2001). Hintikka and Sandu on Metaphor. Philosophia 28 (1-4):391-410.
Similar books and articles
Aron Sjöblad (2009). Metaphors Cicero Lived By: The Role of Metaphor and Simile in de Senectute. Lund University, Centre for Language and Literature.
Istvan Meszaros (1966). Metaphor and Simile: Preliminary Notes to a Discussion of Norms and Values. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 67:127 - 144.
Aaron Wilson (2011). Peirce Versus Davidson on Metaphorical Meaning. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 47 (2):117-135.
Sam Glucksberg & Catrinel Haught (2006). On the Relation Between Metaphor and Simile: When Comparison Fails. Mind and Language 21 (3):360-378.
Samuel D. Guttenplan (2005). Objects of Metaphor. Oxford University Press.
Eva Feder Kittay (1982). The Creation of Similarity: A Discussion of Metaphor in Light of Tversky's Theory of Similarity. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:394 - 405.
Sam Glucksberg & Catrinel Haught (2006). On the Relation Between Metaphor and Simile: When Comparison Fails. Mind and Language 21 (3):360–378.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads307 ( #7,632 of 1,934,839 )
Recent downloads (6 months)55 ( #10,093 of 1,934,839 )
How can I increase my downloads?