Davidson on Metaphorical Meaning: A Reply to Stainton

Dialogue 42 (2):355- (2003)
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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.



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John McGuire
Hanyang University

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References found in this work

Donald Davidson.Simon Evnine - 1991 - Stanford University Press.
The Philosophy of Language.John Rogers Searle (ed.) - 1971 - London: Oxford University Press.
Donald Davidson.H. G. Callaway - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):555-560.

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