Metaphor, Cognitivity, and Meaning-Holism

Philosophy and Rhetoric 31 (4):266 - 282 (1998)
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Some philosophers influenced by Quine's meaning-holism agree that metaphor matters for science and for language in general, but they part ways over whether metaphors are cognitive. Hesse holds that metaphors have special cognitive content, apart from the literal content of the expressions used metaphorically. Davidson and Rorty deny this. I offer a partial reconciliation, allowing that metaphor has a noncognitive dimension, but holding that there is no sharp boundary between the literal and the metaphorical, between meaning and use, or between the cognitive and noncognitive. This also answers the question: Where do dead metaphors gets their second literal meanings?



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