Metaphors: metaphors and the philosophy of language
Gentile, Francesco Paolo (2013) Metaphors: metaphors and the philosophy of language. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
In this dissertation I defend a non-indexicalist contextualist account of metaphorical interpretation. This theory, which works within Kaplan’s double-index semantic framework, claims that context does not have the only role of determining the content expressed by an utterance, but also the function of fixing the appropriate circumstance of evaluation relative to which that content is evaluated. My claim is that the metaphorical dimension of an utterance can be found in the circumstance of evaluation, and not in the content which is expressed by the utterance. To that effect, I introduce a parameter in the circumstance of evaluation of an utterance, which I call ‘thematic dimension’. I show how the introduction of this parameter is in harmony with a class of theories that have proposed a relativistic semantic treatment of other phenomena such as predicates of taste and knowledge ascriptions. At the same time, I question a number of other proposals, both semantic and pragmatic, which, I believe, do not reach the same level of empirical adequacy and formal correctness as my proposal.
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