Metaphor and Cognition: Two Theories

A. E. Denham

in Metaphor and Moral Experience

Published in print July 2000 | ISBN: 9780198240105
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680076 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Metaphor and Cognition: Two Theories

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Modern ‘intuitionist’ theories of metaphor have echoed Plato's views, arguing for a clear distinction between the cognitive function of conventional, literal language and the special symbolic and expressive function of aesthetic language. Intuitionism (as that term is now applied to theories of metaphor) developed in reaction against positivist efforts to reduce the meaningful content of metaphor to its literal paraphrase. On the positivist view, whatever cannot be paraphrased in literal terms is, from the standpoint of meaning, strictly eliminable. In his article ‘What Metaphors Mean’, Donald Davidson argues that metaphorical sentences have no meaning at all (other than their literal sentence meaning). This chapter discusses metaphor and cognition, the analogy between metaphors and jokes, cognitive theories of metaphor, and the interaction theory of metaphor.

Keywords: metaphor; cognition; jokes; intuitionism; Donald Davidson; interaction theory; cognitive theories; meaning

Chapter.  14586 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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