Publication details [#2612]

Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge , UK: Cambridge University Press


Max Black 's 'More about Metaphor' specifies and completes the "interaction view of metaphor", explained for the first time in 'Metaphor' (1954), which can be considered the beginning of renewed interest in this topic in Anglo-Saxon philosophy. This view is opposed by two other perspectives: the traditional "substitution view", in which metaphors can be replaced by series of literal sentences, and the "comparison view", which "takes every metaphor to be a condensed or elliptic simile" [p.27]. Instead, the central idea of the interaction view is that in the most interesting cases metaphors create similarity, rather than state some pre-existing similarity. They thus produce new knowledge by projecting the knowledge associated with the secondary subject (a kind of a source domain) onto the primary subject (the target domain): "The maker of a metaphorical statement selects, emphasizes, suppresses, and organizes features of the primary subject by applying to it statements isomorphic with the members of the secondary subject's implicative complex" [p.28]. Max Black's thought has been the ground for subsequent theoretic growth, especially in the epistemological and cognitive fields, which are represented in the following sections of the anthology. Most of the chapters in the same section of 'More about Metaphor', on the contrary, go back to more classic, rhetorical-literary and pragmatic, approaches, thus neglecting to some extent the new idea of "thinking in metaphors" [p.31] suggested by Black. (Elisabetta Gola)