Publication details [#13742]

Anderson, Douglas. 1984. Peirce on Metaphor. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 20 (4) : 453–468. 16 pp. URL
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Indiana: Indiana University Press


This paper discusses the growth of symbols along with the growth of though within the Peirce’s view of the nature and function of metaphor. Perce’s system has two levels of metaphor: the creative and conventionalised one. According to Pierce's logic metaphor is a symbol whose iconicity dominates – metaphors can be symbolic and indexical but these properties are overshadowed. The essence of similarity (resemblance in other words) between the two metaphor terms is required for something to be a metaphor - opposite to analogy. Anderson states that the iconicity of the metaphor lies in the fusion (conjunction) of the two metaphor terms (constituents), since iconicity could be defined as the unity that grounds the metaphorical relation. Thus, metaphors are distinct from the other two hypo-iconic signs (images and diagrams), because they do not only possess their iconic representation but also the iconic relatedness between the metaphor terms. In the case of a creative metaphor a new creative unity-symbol is created by the fusion of two distinct (usually conventional) symbols – but these symbols do not loose entirely their conventionality – some symbolicity (conventionality) always remains but it is not emphasised. The growth of symbols is found a as core-constituent of Pierce's logic.