Argumentation as a Bridge Between Metaphor and Reasoning

In Sarah Bigi & Fabrizio Macagno (eds.), Argumentation and Language — Linguistic, Cognitive and Discursive Explorations. Cham: Springer Verlag (2018)
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The aim of this chapter is to explore the relationship between metaphor and reasoning, by claiming that argumentation might act as a bridge between metaphor and reasoning. Firstly, the chapter introduces metaphor as a framing strategy through which some relevant properties of a source domain are selected to understand a target domain. The mapping of properties from the source to the target domain implicitly forces the interpreter to consider the target from a specific perspective. Secondly, the chapter presents metaphor as an implicit argument where some inferences can be drawn from the comparison between the source and the target domain. In particular, this chapter aims to understand whether and to what extent such an argument might be linked to analogical reasoning. The chapter argues that, in case of faulty analogy, this kind of argument might have the form of a quaternio terminorum, where metaphor is the middle term. Finally, the chapter presents the results of an experimental study, aiming to test the effect of the linguistic nature of the middle term on the detection of such faulty analogy. The chapter concludes that a wider context is needed to make sense of an analogical argument with novel metaphors, whilst in a narrow context, a lexicalised metaphor might be extended and the overall argument might be interpreted as metaphoric.



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Francesca Ervas
Universita di Cagliari

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