A Defence of the Indispensability of Metaphor

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I argue for the possibility of the thesis that metaphors are indispensable for grasping and expressing certain propositions. I defend this possibility against the objection that, if metaphors express propositions, once these propositions are identified they should be specifiable by non-metaphorical means. I argue that this objection loses its strength if one adopts a Wittgensteinian, particularist view of thought, according to which grasping a propositional thought requires the ongoing exercise of a suitable skill often not characterizable by algorithmic rules. Within this particularist framework, thus, it becomes possible that metaphorical skills have an indispensable role in cognition and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-263
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Investigations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


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