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ERIC Number: EJ948164
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Hyperbole, Homunculi, and Hindsight Bias: An Alternative Evaluation of Conceptual Metaphor Theory
McGlone, Matthew S.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v48 n8 p563-574 2011
To its credit, conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) has drawn significant attention to the question of what figurative language can tell us about human concepts. However, the answers CMT theorists have offered are typically unsubstantiated by the empirical evidence, and occasionally unfalsifiable. This reply to Raymond W. Gibbs Jr.'s positive evaluation of the theory offers an alternative assessment that is more critical of its shortcomings. This critique summarizes four basic problems with CMT: The theory (a) is attributionally ambiguous about the locus of metaphoric motivation, (b) commits a form of the infamous "homunculus problem" in philosophy of mind, (c) employs circular reasoning to formulate hypotheses and interpret linguistic evidence, and (d) is not parsimonious. All of these problems are evident in Gibbs's piece, and thereby undermine his defense of CMT's explanatory value. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A