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What Metaphors Mean

Critical Inquiry 5 (1):31-47 (1978)

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  1. The Clockwork Universe and the Mechanical Hypothesis.Sylvia Berryman - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (5):806-823.
    It is something of a commonplace that the presence of clockwork throughout early modern Europe was a key technological factor in inspiring an approach to investigation of the natural world characte...
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  • Force, Power, and Motive.Stephen R. Yarbrough - 1996 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 29 (4):344 - 358.
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  • Davidson’s Phenomenological Argument Against the Cognitive Claims of Metaphor.Richmond Kwesi - 2019 - Axiomathes 30:1-24.
    In this paper, I take a critical look at the Davidsonian argument that metaphorical sentences do not express propositions because of the phenomenological experience—seeing one thing as another thing—involved in understanding them as metaphors. According to Davidson, seeing-as is not seeing-that. This verdict is aimed at dislodging metaphor from the position of being assessed with the semantic notions of propositions, meaning, and truth. I will argue that the phenomenological or perceptual experience associated with metaphors does not determine the propositional contentfulness (...)
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  • Demystifying metaphor: a strategy for literal paraphrase.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):113-132.
    There is a long philosophical tradition of skepticism about the possibility of adequate paraphrases for metaphorical utterances. And even among those who favor paraphrasability, there is a tendency to think that paraphrases of metaphorical utterances may themselves have to be non-literal. I argue that even the most evocative and open-ended metaphorical utterances can be literally and adequately paraphrased, once we recognize that they are actually indirect speech acts—specifically, indirect directives that command the hearer to engage in an open-ended comparison. This (...)
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  • Evidence, Defeasibility, and Metaphors in Diagnosis and Diagnosis Communication.Pietro Salis & Francesca Ervas - 2021 - Topoi 40 (2):327–341.
    The paper investigates the epistemological and communicative competences the experts need to use and communicate evidence in the reasoning process leading to diagnosis. The diagnosis and diagnosis communication are presented as intertwined processes that should be jointly addressed in medical consultations, to empower patients’ compliance in illness management. The paper presents defeasible reasoning as specific to the diagnostic praxis, showing how this type of reasoning threatens effective diagnosis communication and entails that we should understand diagnostic evidence as defeasible as well. (...)
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  • Ignorance-Preserving Mental Models Thought Experiments as Abductive Metaphors.Selene Arfini, Claudia Casadio & Lorenzo Magnani - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (2):391-409.
    In this paper, we aim at explaining the relevance of thought experiments in philosophy and the history of science by describing them as particular instances of two categories of creative thinking: metaphorical reasoning and abductive cognition. As a result of this definition, we will claim that TEs hold an ignorance-preserving trait that is evidenced in both TEs inferential structure and in the process of scenario creation they presuppose. Elaborating this thesis will allow us to explain the wonder that philosophers of (...)
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  • The Argument From Convention Revisited.Francesco Pupa - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2175-2204.
    The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its alleged tendency to overgenerate and (...)
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  • Multiple Propositions, Contextual Variability, and the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface.Arthur Sullivan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2773-2800.
    A ‘multiple-proposition phenomenon’ is a putative counterexample to the widespread implicit assumption that a simple indicative sentence semantically expresses at most one proposition. Several philosophers and linguists have recently developed hypotheses concerning this notion. The guiding questions motivating this research are: Is there an interesting and homogenous semantic category of MP phenomena? If so, what is the import? Do MP theories have any relevance to important current questions in the study of language? I motivate an affirmative answer to, and then (...)
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  • The Causal Metaphor Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):553-578.
    This paper argues that the semantic facts about ‘because’ are best explained via a metaphorical treatment of metaphysical explanation that treats causal explanation as explanation par excellence. Along the way, it defends a commitment to a unified causal sense of ‘because’ and offers a proprietary explanation of grounding skepticism. With the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation on the table, an extended discussion of the relationship between conceptual structure and metaphysics ends with a suggestion that the semantic facts about ‘because’ (...)
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  • Interpersonal Sameness of Meaning for Inferential Role Semantics.Martin L. Jönsson - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (3):269-297.
    Inferential Role Semantics is often criticized for being incompatible with the platitude that words of different speakers can mean the same thing. While many assume that this platitude can be accommodated by understanding sameness of meaning in terms of similarity of meaning, no worked out proposal has ever been produced for Inferential Role Semantics. I rectify this important omission by giving a detailed structural account of meaning similarity in terms of graph theory. I go on to argue that this account (...)
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  • The Swaying Form: Imagination, Metaphor, Embodiment.Joseph U. Neisser - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (1):27-53.
    How is it that metaphors are meaningful, yet we have so much trouble saying exactly what they mean? I argue that metaphoric thought is an act of imagination, mediated by the contingent form of human embodiment. Metaphoric cognition is an example of the productive interplay between intentional imagery and the body scheme, a process of imaginal modeling. The case of metaphor marks the intersection of linguistic and psychological processes and demonstrates the need for a multi-disciplinary approach not only in philosophy (...)
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  • Extending Disorder: Essentialism, Family Resemblance and Secondary Sense. [REVIEW]Neil Pickering - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (2):185-195.
    It is commonly thought that mental disorder is a valid concept only in so far as it is an extension of or continuous with the concept of physical disorder. A valid extension has to meet two criteria: determination and coherence. Essentialists meet these criteria through necessary and sufficient conditions for being a disorder. Two Wittgensteinian alternatives to essentialism are considered and assessed against the two criteria. These are the family resemblance approach and the secondary sense approach. Where the focus is (...)
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  • Live Metaphors.Anne Reboul - 2011 - In Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan. pp. 1--17.
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  • Against Metaphorical Meaning.Ernest Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2010 - Topoi 29 (2):165-180.
    The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s exploration of (...)
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  • Metaphors and Malapropisms: Davidson on the Limits of the Literal.Ehud Rahat - 1992 - Philosophia 21 (3-4):311-327.
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  • Metaphors and Argumentation.Cristian Santibanez Yanez - 2007 - Proceedings of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation Biennial Conference 7.
    To describe how metaphors work from an argumentative point of view is the first step of this paper. After describing the metaphorical argumentative mechanism, the second step is to apply this mechanism by analyzing some paradigmatic international metaphors that are used in public speeches. This analysis will enable us to see some common grounds between different cultures and countries, especially regarding economical issues and argumentation theory.
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  • Musical Understanding: Studies in Philosophy and Phenomenological Psychology.Shawn Raja Akbar - unknown
    The central undertaking of this project is to initiate a phenomenological theory of musical experience. The core views expressed are that musical rhythm is the most fundamental, and the only essential, component of the musical experience, and that the essence of musical experience lies in attending to rhythm as communicative of a sense of time. In the introduction I set out the general phenomenon of musical understanding and argue for the relevance of phenomenological description of basic musical experience for the (...)
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  • Argumentative Functions of Visuals: Beyond Claiming and Justifying.Assimakis Tseronis - unknown
    Up until now, the study of the argumentative role of visuals has been restricted to the formal concept of argument as product, consisting of premises and conclusion. In this paper, I adopt the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation as a social and discursive activity in order to explore argumentative functions of visuals that go beyond claiming and justifying. To do this I pay attention to the visual form and to the interaction between the verbal and the visual mode in argumentative discourse.
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  • Theology, Hermeneutics and Philosophical Poetics.Tomas Kačerauskas - 2012 - International Studies. Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal 14 (1):95-107.
    The article deals with Heidegger’s attitudes towards theology. Heidegger, stating that existential philosophy and theology are incompatible, advances a thesis of not objectivating poetic thinking. Whereas, Ricoeur’s biblical hermeneutics is based on his theory of metaphor. The lingual act here means the destruction of the old outlook for the sake of the new one. In this dramatic way cognition occurs as a meeting. The poetic thinking of the late Heidegger is also based on a meeting that covers both horizontal coexistence (...)
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  • Metaphor and Minimalism.Josef Stern - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (2):273 - 298.
    This paper argues first that, contrary to what one would expect, metaphorical interpretations of utterances pass two of Cappelan and Lepore's Minimalist tests for semantic context-sensitivity. I then propose how, in light of that result, one might analyze metaphors on the model of indexicals and demonstratives, expressions that (even) Minimalists agree are semantically context-dependent. This analysis builds on David Kaplan's semantics for demonstratives and refines an earlier proposal in (Stern, Metaphor in context, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000). In the course of (...)
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  • Rhetoric and Double Hermeneutics in the Human Sciences.Dimitri Ginev - 1998 - Human Studies 21 (3):259-271.
    Based on an analysis of double hermeneutics in the human sciences, a distinction between a weak and a strong rhetorical analysis of human-scientific research is introduced, taking account of the self-reflective character of hermeneutic interpretation. The paper argues that there are three hermeneutic topics in the research process for human-scientific experience, which are associated with applying specific rhetorical tools. The three topics are described under the following rubrics: (a) bridging the gap between experience-near and experience-distant concepts; (b) achieving integrity of (...)
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  • Metaphor and Theological Realism.Gäb Sebastian - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (1):79-92.
    In this paper, I argue that there are indispensable and irreducible metaphors in religious language and that this does not threaten a realist interpretation of religion. I first sketch a realist theory of religious language and argue that we cannot avoid addressing the problems metaphor poses to semantics. I then give a brief account of what it means for a metaphorical sentence to be true and how metaphors can refer to something even if what they mean is not expressible in (...)
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  • Metaphor, Literal, Literalism.Stern Josef - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):243–279.
    This paper examines the place of metaphorical interpretation in the current Contextualist-Literalist controversy over the role of context in the determination of truth-conditions in general. Although there has been considerable discussion of 'non-literal' language by both sides of this dispute, the language analyzed involves either so-called implicit indexicality, loose or loosened use, enriched interpretations, or semantic transfer, not metaphor itself. In the first half of the paper, I critically evaluate Recanati's (2004) recent Contextualist account and show that it cannot account (...)
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  • Metaphor in the Twilight Area Between Philosophy and Linguistics.Jakub Mácha - 2011 - In P. Stalmaszczyk & K. Kosecki (eds.), Turning Points in the Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Peter Lang. pp. 159--169.
    This paper investigates the issue whether metaphors have a metaphorical or secondary meaning and how this question is related to the borderline between philosophy and linguistics. On examples by V. Woolf and H. W. Auden, it will be shown that metaphor accomplishes something more than its literal meaning expresses and this “more” cannot be captured by any secondary meaning. What is essential in the metaphor is not a secondary meaning but an internal relation between a metaphorical proposition and a description (...)
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  • A Note on Hahn's Philosophy of Logic.Fred Ablondi - 2002 - History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (1):37-42.
    Hans Hahn, mathematician, philosopher and co-founder of the Vienna Circle, attempted to reconcile the validity and applicability of both logic and mathematics with a strict empiricism. This article begins with a review of this attempt, focusing on his view of the relation of language to logic and his answer to the question of why we need logic. I then turn to some recent work by Stephen Yablo in an attempt to show that Yablo's fictionalism, and in particular his use of (...)
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  • How Literature Expands Your Imagination.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):298-319.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Speaker Meaning and Davidson on Metaphor: A Reply to McGuire.Robert J. Stainton - 2003 - Dialogue 42 (2):345-354.
    John Michael McGuire presents a dilemma for Donald Davidson’s denial of metaphorical content in the latter’s “What Metaphors Mean”. Probably, says McGuire, Davidson has simply overlooked the possibility that speakers mean propositions when they speak metaphorically. If so, all Davidson is saying is that expressions do not have additional metaphorical meanings. This is so obvious as to make Davidson’s paper “insignificant”. Besides which, McGuire continues, if Davidson intended to deny that speakers mean propositions in speaking metaphorically, his view is “obviously (...)
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  • A Revision of the Definition of Lying as an Untruth Told with Intent to Deceive.Warren Shibles - 1988 - Argumentation 2 (1):99-115.
    The traditional and prevailing definition of lying is that lying is some variation or combination of: “an untruth told with intent to deceive.” I establish that this is the case, and that, as a result, contradictions and injustices arise. An alternative definition is proposed which is shown to avoid these difficulties. It is also shown that and how on the new definition the alleged “Liar paradox” is easily dissolved.
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  • Imagination, Expectation, and “Thoughts Entangled in Metaphors”.Nathanael Stein - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    George Eliot strikingly describes one of her characters as making a mistake because he has gotten his thoughts “entangled in metaphors,” saying that we all do the same. I argue that Eliot is here giving us more than an illuminating description, but drawing our attention to a distinctive kind of mistake—a form of irrationality, in fact—of which metaphor can be an ineliminable part of the correct explanation. Her fictional case helps illuminate both a neglected function of the imagination, and a (...)
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  • Metaphor, ignorance and the sentiment of (ir)rationality.Francesca Ervas - 2021 - Synthese.
    Metaphor has been considered as a cognitive process, independent of the verbal versus visual mode, through which an unknown conceptual domain is understood in terms of another known conceptual domain. Metaphor might instead be viewed as a cognitive process, dependent on the mode, which leads to genuinely new knowledge via ignorance. First, I argue that there are two main senses of ignorance at stake when we understand a metaphor: we ignore some existing properties of the known domain in the sense (...)
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  • The Disunity of Truth.Josh Dever - 2009 - In Robert Stainton & Christopher Viger (eds.), Compositionality, Context and Semantic Values: Essays in Honour of Ernie Lepore. pp. 174-191.
    §§3-4 of the Begriffsschrift present Frege’s objections to a dominant if murky nineteenth-century semantic picture. I sketch a minimalist variant of the pre-Fregean picture which escapes Frege’s criticisms by positing a thin notion of semantic content which then interacts with a multiplicity of kinds of truth to account for phenomena such as modality. After exploring several ways in which we can understand the existence of multiple truth properties, I discuss the roles of pointwise and setwise truth properties in modal logic. (...)
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  • Philosophy of Metaphor: Science or Poetry? [REVIEW]S. Gillian Parker - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (3):423-431.
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  • Category Mistakes Are Meaningful.Ofra Magidor - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (6):553-581.
    Category mistakes are sentences such as ‘Colourless green ideas sleep furiously’ or ‘The theory of relativity is eating breakfast’. Such sentences are highly anomalous, and this has led a large number of linguists and philosophers to conclude that they are meaningless (call this ‘the meaninglessness view’). In this paper I argue that the meaninglessness view is incorrect and category mistakes are meaningful. I provide four arguments against the meaninglessness view: in Sect. 2, an argument concerning compositionality with respect to category (...)
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  • The Role of Theory-Constitutive Metaphor in Nursing Science.Jennifer Greenwood & Ann Bonner - 2008 - Nursing Philosophy 9 (3):154-168.
    The current view of theoretical statements in science is that they should be literal and precise; ambiguous and metaphorical statements are useful only as pre-theoretical, exegetical, and heuristic devices and as pedagogical tools. In this paper we argue that this view is mistaken. Literal, precise statements apply to those experiential phenomena which can be defined either conventionally by criterial attribution or by internal atomic constitution. Experiential phenomena which are defined relationally and/or functionally, like nursing, in virtue of their nature, require (...)
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  • Sarcasm, Pretense, and The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.Elisabeth Camp - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):587 - 634.
    Traditional theories of sarcasm treat it as a case of a speaker's meaning the opposite of what she says. Recently, 'expressivists' have argued that sarcasm is not a type of speaker meaning at all, but merely the expression of a dissociative attitude toward an evoked thought or perspective. I argue that we should analyze sarcasm in terms of meaning inversion, as the traditional theory does; but that we need to construe 'meaning' more broadly, to include illocutionary force and evaluative attitudes (...)
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  • Slurs and Register: A Case Study in Meaning Pluralism.Justina Diaz-Legaspe, Chang Liu & Robert J. Stainton - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):156-182.
    Most theories of slurs fall into one of two families: those which understand slurring terms to involve special descriptive/informational content (however conveyed), and those which understand them to encode special emotive/expressive content. Our view is that both offer essential insights, but that part of what sets slurs apart is use-theoretic content. In particular, we urge that slurring words belong at the intersection of a number of categories in a sociolinguistic register taxonomy, one that usually includes [+slang] and [+vulgar] and always (...)
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  • Meaning Transfer Revisited.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):254-297.
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  • Convention Before Communication.Ernie Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):245-265.
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  • A Defence of the Indispensability of Metaphor.Javier Prado Salas - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 42 (3):241-263.
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  • Comparison by Metaphor: Archery in Confucius and Aristotle.Rina Marie Camus - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (2):165-185.
    Metaphor study is a promising trend in present-day academia. Scholars of antiquity are already profiting from it in their study of early texts. We have yet, however, to harness the potentials of metaphor in East-West comparison. The article discusses what literary metaphors are, in particular how they generate images and perspectives that call into play a broad range of extra-textual information about the speaker and his milieu. Shared metaphors are doubly advantageous: they serve as hermeneutic tools for reading early texts (...)
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  • Objectivity, Simulation and the Unity of Consciousness: Current Issues in the Philosophy of Mind.Christopher Peacocke - 1995 - Philosophy 70 (273):469-472.
    Notes on Contributors • Preface • Christopher Peacocke, Introduction: The Issues and their Further Development I OBJECTIVE THOUGHT • John Campbell, Objects and Objectivity Commentaries • Bill Brewer, Thoughts about Objects, Places and Times • John O'Keefe, Cognitive Maps, Time and Causality II OBJECTIVITY AND THE UNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS • Susan Hurley, Unity and Objectivity Commentaries • Anthony Marcel, What is Relevant to the Unity of Consciousness? • Michael Lockwood, Issues of Unity and Objectivity III UNDERSTANDING THE MENTAL:THEORY OR SIMULATION (...)
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  • Process Vagueness.Roy A. Sorensen - 1990 - Linguistics and Philosophy 13 (5):589 - 618.
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  • What Malapropisms Mean: A Reply to Donald Davidson. [REVIEW]Marga Reimer - 2004 - Erkenntnis 60 (3):317-334.
    In this paper, I argue against Davidson's (1986) view that our ability to understand malapropisms forces us to re-think the standard construal of literal word meaning as conventional meaning. Specially, I contend that the standard construal is not only intuitive but also well-motivated, for appeal to conventional meaning is necessary to understand why speakers utter the particular words they do. I also contend that, contra Davidson, we can preserve the intuitive distinction between what a speaker means and what his words (...)
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  • Rationality in Game-Theoretic Pragmatics: A Response to Franke.Sascia Pavan - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (3):257-261.
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  • Davidson’s Phenomenological Argument Against the Cognitive Claims of Metaphor.Richmond Kwesi - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):341-364.
    In this paper, I take a critical look at the Davidsonian argument that metaphorical sentences do not express propositions because of the phenomenological experience—seeing one thing as another thing—involved in understanding them as metaphors. According to Davidson, seeing-as is not seeing-that. This verdict is aimed at dislodging metaphor from the position of being assessed with the semantic notions of propositions, meaning, and truth. I will argue that the phenomenological or perceptual experience associated with metaphors does not determine the propositional contentfulness (...)
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  • Davidson’s Phenomenological Argument Against the Cognitive Claims of Metaphor.Richmond Kwesi - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):341-364.
    In this paper, I take a critical look at the Davidsonian argument that metaphorical sentences do not express propositions because of the phenomenological experience—seeing one thing as another thing—involved in understanding them as metaphors. According to Davidson, seeing-as is not seeing-that. This verdict is aimed at dislodging metaphor from the position of being assessed with the semantic notions of propositions, meaning, and truth. I will argue that the phenomenological or perceptual experience associated with metaphors does not determine the propositional contentfulness (...)
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  • Metaphor and Reality.C. A. Peursen - 1992 - Man and World 25 (2):165-180.
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  • Nonfallacious Rhetorical Strategies: Lyndon Johnson’s Daisy Ad. [REVIEW]Scott Jacobs - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (4):421-442.
    The traditional concepts of rhetorical strategy and argumentative fallacy cannot be readily reconciled. Doing so requires escaping the following argument: All argumentation involves rhetorical strategies. All rhetorical strategies are violations of logical or dialectical ideals. All violations of logical or dialectical ideals are fallacies. Normative pragmatics provides a perspective in which rhetorical strategies can be seen to have the potential for constructive contributions to argumentation and in which fallacies are not simply violations of ideals. One kind of constructive contribution, framing (...)
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  • Mukulabhaṭṭa’s Defense of Lakṣaṇā: How We Use Words to Mean Something Else, But Not Everything Else.Malcolm Keating - 2013 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (4):439-461.
    We frequently use single words or expressions to mean multiple things, depending upon context. I argue that a plausible model of this phenomenon, known as lakṣaṇā by Indian philosophers, emerges in the work of ninth-century Kashmiri Mukulabhaṭṭa. His model of lakṣaṇā is sensitive to the lexical and syntactic requirements for sentence meaning, the interpretive unity guiding a communicative act, and the nuances of creative language use found in poetry. After outlining his model of lakṣaṇā, I show how arthāpatti, or presumption, (...)
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  • The Return of Moral Fictionalism.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):149–188.
    Fictionalism has recently returned as a standard response to ontologically problematic domains. This article assesses moral fictionalism. It argues (i) that a correct understanding of the dialectical situation in contemporary metaethics shows that fictionalism is only an interesting new alternative if it can provide a new account of normative content: what is it that I am thinking or saying when I think or say that I ought to do something; and (ii) that fictionalism, qua fictionalism, does not provide us with (...)
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