On the Alleged Pervasiveness of Metaphor



Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Dókos. Revista Filosófica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords metaphor; pervasiveness thesis; language; Aristotle
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Description There is a widespread opinion that the metaphor pervades natural language. Metaphor is, however, in its Aristotelian definition, a rare phenomenon. How, then, can the shift from rare to pervasive be explained? A possible explanation is that the definition of metaphor has changed. I will provide a sketch of how this shift might have taken place. I argue that the original name for metaphor undergoes a metaphorical shift. The thesis of the pervasiveness of metaphor, then, makes sense only if we explicate how the original name of metaphor (and its mechanism) has been transposed into the whole of language. In the next part of the paper, I will develop some approaches of how this transposition could be done. I will conclude that, after all, a theory decides what counts as a metaphor. If a theory advocates its omnipresence there must be good reasons for doing so. I try to explicate some of these reasons.
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