Metaphor and Constancy of Meaning

Grazer Philosophische Studien 43:143-161 (1992)

Sherrill Begres
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
The prevalent theories of metaphor in the literature, with very few exceptions, involve a conversion of either meaning or reference from the literal meaning or reference of the metaphor to either a corresponding simile or to a metaphorical meaning or reference. In this essay an altemative to the conversion view - i.e., a constancy theory - is offered that requires no such conversions. H.R Grice's notions of conversational maximes and implicatures provide a conceptual framework within which to account for metaphors in a totally literal context. A selection procedure is suggested as the mechanism by which one can interpret metaphors and distinguish them from other figures of speech.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0165-9227
DOI 10.5840/gps1992438
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