Contextualism, Metaphor, and What is Said


  • Thanks to Jay Atlas, Kent Bach, Anne Bezuidenhout, Anthony Corsentino, Andy Egan, Catherine Elgin, John Hawthorne, Jeff King, John MacFarlane, Bernard Nickel, Marga Reimer, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Catherine Wearing. Thanks also to two anonymous referees for Mind & Language, and to audiences at talks at the Pacific APA and Rutgers University from which this paper is drawn.

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Abstract:  On a familiar and prima facie plausible view of metaphor, speakers who speak metaphorically say one thing in order to mean another. A variety of theorists have recently challenged this view; they offer criteria for distinguishing what is said from what is merely meant, and argue that these support classifying metaphor within ‘what is said’. I consider four such criteria, and argue that when properly understood, they support the traditional classification instead. I conclude by sketching how we might extract a workable notion of ‘what is said’ from ordinary intuitions about saying.