Josef Stern
University of Chicago
This paper addresses two issues: what it is for a metaphor to be either alive or dead and what a metaphor must be in order to be either alive or dead. Both issues, in turn, bear on the contemporary debate whether metaphor is a pragmatic or semantic phenomenon and on the dispute between Contextualists and Literalists. In the first part of the paper, I survey examples of what I take to be live metaphors and dead metaphors in order to establish that there is a phenomenon here to be explained. I then propose an explanation of metaphorical vitality in terms of the dependence of the interpretation of a metaphor on a family or network of expressions specific to its context of utterance. I then argue that only a Literalist account of metaphor — one that posits metaphorical expressions )—and not Contextualist and Gricean approaches can accommodate this explanation. Finally, I discuss some objections to my Literalist account and sketch an explanation of types to counter Platonistic objections to my metaphorical expression types
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2008
DOI 10.4148/biyclc.v3i0.16
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,581
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Metaphors We Live By.Max Black - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (2):208-210.
Features of Similarity.Amos Tversky - 1977 - Psychological Review 84 (4):327-352.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
185 ( #59,044 of 2,461,406 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #178,452 of 2,461,406 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes