Publication details [#11591]

Zemach, Eddy M. 2001. A modal theory of metaphor. Semiotics and the philosophy of language 67 (1) : 60–74. 15 pp.
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All metaphors have the logical form "metaphorically, Fx." 'Metaphorically" is a modal operator. If "F" literally denotes the property F and metaphorically denotes the property G, "Metaphorically, Fx" says that x is G in reality because in its home world (Wx) it is F, when (1) x being F is manifest in Wx, (2) it is a law of Wx that being F causes being G, (3) being G in W is essential to x, hence it is G in all possible worlds. For example, Emily Dickinson says that her life is (metaphorically) a loaded gun. This means that the entity x that in the real world is her life, is in its home-world a loaded gun. A loaded gun is lethal, a trait x manifests in its home world. Therefore in the real world, too, where it is not a loaded gun but a life, x is lethal and, though deceptively (as a life) calm, it is truly dangerous. (LLBA 2001, vol. 35, n. 5)