Concluding Remarks: Reference and Truth in Metaphor


in Metaphor

Published in print January 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242468
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680472 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Concluding Remarks: Reference and Truth in Metaphor

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The perspectival shift achieved by metaphor has been explicated in terms of a theory of metaphorical meaning in which metaphor is not readily paraphrasable into literal language. The meaning of metaphor, unlike the meaning of most literal language, is a second-order affair. Understanding a metaphor involves understanding the literal meaning called upon in the metaphor and understanding the vehicle’s contrastive and affinitive relations which are transferred to a new domain. Finally, it involves the ability to find an interpretation based on that analogous reference of relations which orders a conceptual or semantic domain distinct from the one to which the metaphorically used term applies in its literal-conventional application. The interpretation does not have to be a unique sentence and it is rarely that way.

Keywords: metaphor; meaning; literal language; second-order meaning; literal meaning; relations; semantics; reference; truth

Chapter.  12200 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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