Figurative analogies and how they are resisted in British Public Bill Committee debates
This paper studies metaphor use in British Public Bill Committee debates. It focuses on the way in which legislators frame their arguments in metaphorical terms under the form of figurative analogies. Because these figurative analogies can be misleading by oversimplifying the issue under discussion, resisting them by putting forward counter-argumentation is a crucial and necessary skill. The purpose of this paper is to explore the phenomenon of countering figurative analogies in legislative debates, and to show that resistance to figurative analogies is a complex phenomenon comprising various types of criticisms to different types of metaphor. To this end, we present qualitative analyses of a number of case studies of resistance to figurative analogies found in the British Public Bill Committee debates on the Education Bill 2010–11 by employing the three-dimensional model of metaphor (Steen, 2011) and the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation (Van Eemeren, 2010).
Keywords: metaphor, figurative analogy, argumentation, resistance, counter-argumentation, political discourse, legislative debates
Published online: 20 May 2019
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