Understanding and Appreciating Metaphors.
Technical rept. no. 11, 1 Apr-30 Jun 78,
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Three general positions have dominated thinking about metaphor. One view treats metaphor as a comparison--a view originating with Aristotle. The second view is that metaphor is an anomaly, the exact nature of the postulated anomaly differing with the theorist. The final view is somewhat vaguer than the first two it sees metaphor as a conceptual interaction. This study proposes a new version of the interaction position in which one domain or category of phenomena is somehow seen in terms of another. All the positions have implications for the question of what makes a good metaphor. On all three views, a central consideration in aptness is the similarity of the objects linked by the metaphor the tenor and vehicle. In general, the anomaly position stresses the dissimilarity of tenor and vehicle, the comparison position the similarity, and the interaction position both. The exact nature of the quantitative relationship between similarity and aptness depends in part on how similarity is conceived.