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December 31, 2020


I haven't read this in full yet (it's good so far), but on the "full (???)" part, I think there is a simple explanation of what DD meant: it will be (perhaps a small) part of any account of metaphors that they can be used for various purposes, and many of these will involve recognizing that the person using them is intending to use them in that way. So there are "cognitive contents" of various sorts in play, for Gricean sorts of reasons; DD is just noting that appealing to such things to make sense of metaphors generally won't work out. But they are there, and sometimes matter for what the metaphor is up to; trivially, Romeo has to intend to be speaking about *that* Juliet by uttering "Juliet", etc. for "Juliet is the sun" to have the literal meaning DD says it does. Thus, without the caveat "full" in his sentence, the thesis DD objects to would not be false, but might be trivially true. If you don't try to make it the center of your account of metaphors, there's no problem (by DD's lights) with the idea that there are definite "cognitive contents" of some sorts that need to be picked up on to get at what a metaphor is saying -- that much is secured by DD's belief that metaphors do have their ordinary literal meanings, and what he thinks is involved in words having meanings at all.

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