Truth and Metaphor

  • David E. Cooper


‘Metaphor’, writes one literary critic, ‘is a medium for fuller, riper knowing’.1 He is giving voice here to one of the many claims which have been made on behalf of metaphor as a special purveyor or vehicle of knowledge. If any of these claims are to be made out, even the less exaggerated ones, then some metaphors must be true. A metaphor may, without being true, reflect, hint at, or inspire a search for, knowledge. But to count as a vehicle or medium of knowledge, a metaphor would have to be a bearer of truth. If the large claims about metaphors as vehicles of knowledge are to be defended, moreover, the metaphors in question must include challenging and ‘deep’ ones. For it is these, and not hackneyed or trivial ones, with whose contribution to knowledge the claimants have been concerned.


Large Claim Philosophical Anthropology Metaphorical Meaning Cosmological Theory Moral World 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • David E. Cooper

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