Davidsonova kritika metaforického významu

Title in English Davidson's Critique of the Metaphorical Meaning


Year of publication 2009
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Filosofický casopis
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords metaphor;Donald Davidson;Max Black
Description In his paper "What Metaphors Mean", Donald Davidson attacks various theories of the metaphorical meaning. His radical thesis is that the metaphor has except the literal meaning no other (metaphorical or secondary) meaning. He refuses primarily the idea that the metaphor is some sort of communication-the speaker puts a hidden message in it and the recipient have to decode it. Davidson supported this negative attitude with a number of more or less conclusive arguments. I would like to discuss some of them in this essay. My interpretation of Davidson's argumentation can be summed up as that the idea of the metaphorical meaning is not nonsensical, but it is unsuitable for explaining the intricate role of metaphors in our language. A positive theory of metaphor was only suggested by Davidson, but not properly elaborated. This was a task of his followers, in the first place of Richard Rorty. He emphasized, however, the causal character of a metaphorical effect, which radicalizes Davidson's account. As opposed to Rorty, Davidson shared with his predecessors an opinion that in a metaphor one thing is seen as another thing. None of the authors was able to explain this metaphorical definition of the metaphor.

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