For comments and criticism, I wish to thank participants in the Mind & Language conference on Metaphor at which a draft of this paper was presented, and especially Robyn Carston, Bob Gibbs, Sam Guttenplan, Roger White, and Deirdre Wilson; Nat Hansen, Yitzhaq Benbaji, and Elizabeth Camp; and two anonymous referees.
Metaphor, Literal, Literalism
Article first published online: 26 MAY 2006
2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 243–279, June 2006
How to Cite
JOSEF, S. (2006), Metaphor, Literal, Literalism. Mind & Language, 21: 243–279. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2006.00278.x
- Issue published online: 26 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 26 MAY 2006
Abstract: 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 for the metaphorical-literal dependence characteristic of metaphor. I then turn to Carston’s (2002), and Bezuidenhout’s (2001) Contextualist accounts and show that they place no constraints on metaphorical interpretations. In the second half of the paper I sketch a Literalist theory of metaphor elaborated in Stern (2000) and respond to two kinds of Contextualist criticisms of that account by Camp (2005) and Stanley (2005).