XIII—Metaphor: Ad Hoc Concepts, Literal Meaning and Mental Images


  • Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 24 May 2010 at 4:15 pm.


I propose that an account of metaphor understanding which covers the full range of cases has to allow for two routes or modes of processing. One is a process of rapid, local, on-line concept construction that applies quite generally to the recovery of word meaning in utterance comprehension. The other requires a greater focus on the literal meaning of sentences or texts, which is metarepresented as a whole and subjected to more global, reflective pragmatic inference. The questions whether metaphors convey a propositional content and what role imagistic representation plays receive somewhat different answers depending on the processing route.