Metaphor and Judgements of Experience

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 Judgements of Experience

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Experience can be difficult to describe and hence requires the use of figurative devices such as metaphors and similes. This chapter argues that figurative language sometimes succeeds in representing aspects of experience which resist characterisation in literal terms. According to the Inexpressibility Thesis, the truth-conditions of some metaphors can not be represented by terms contained in the strictly literal lexicon (of a given language). By proposing a special category of phenomenological metaphors, this chapter offers an account of metaphor that both explains and supports the Inexpressibility Thesis. It also examines non-cognitivism and reductionism, metaphor and experience-dependent concepts, two models of similarity judgements, and phenomenological metaphors.

Keywords: metaphor; experience; judgements; figurative language; Inexpressibility Thesis; phenomenological metaphors; non-cognitivism; reductionism

Chapter.  23063 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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