John Kulvicki: "Metaphor in Pictures"

  • Date: –21:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1024
  • Organiser: The Philosophical Society in Uppsala
  • Contact person: Sebastian Lutz
  • Föreläsning

The Philosophical Society in Uppsala

(NB, new date and venue)

John Kulvicki, Dartmouth College: "Metaphor in pictures"

Are there pictorial metaphors, and if so how should we understand them?

There is relatively little literature on metaphor in pictures, even though there is an extensive literature on metaphor. If follow Davidson in rejecting the claim that there is anything like metaphorical meaning, you won't think that there is any mystery to pictorial metaphor that doesn't apply in just the same way to language. Likewise, if you favor a pragmatic account of metaphor it should be easy to imagine your account applying to pictures. If, however, you find semantic accounts of metaphor appealing then you might wonder how pictures, which have their own meanings, manage to have metaphorical ones. Josef Stern defends an interesting pair of theses. First, he is one of the few advocates of a semantic account of metaphor. Second, he insists that there are no pictorial metaphors. The negative claim is based on how he understands the ways in which pictures can be meaningful. I want to show how, if you have a different account of pictorial meaning, his account of metaphor applies in interesting ways to pictures.