‘Learning from Metaphors’ Mitchell Green (University of Connecticut) – ARC Research Seminar

The Aesthetics Research Centre is pleased to announce its next research seminar taking place on 14th November, 4-6pm in GLT3.

Abstract: “A default view of the epistemic value of figurative discourse might take it to be capable of producing belief, but not knowledge save by accident or in relatively unimportant ways. By contrast with literal language, which many see as capable of producing knowledge, we might thus follow Locke in seeing metaphor as “a perfect cheat.” I will challenge this view by offering ways in which a metaphor can enable addressees to learn how some situation or object feels to the speaker. This approach will highlight respects in which metaphors invoke imagery, and will emphasize knowing how over knowing that. In addition, it will show how metaphorical communication can powerfully facilitate empathy, and will enable us to see ways in which the commonly drawn distinction between verbal and non-verbal metaphor is in many respects artificial”

Information about the speaker:
Mitchell Green is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut.  He works mainly in the Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, and Aesthetics. His current research interests include the evolutionary biology of communication, speech acts and their role in conversation, empathy, self-knowledge, self-expression,  attitude ascription, and the epistemic value(s) of works of art. He is the author of Self-Expression (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Engaging Philosophy: A Brief Introduction (Hackett Publishing, 2006). He has also edited with John Williams the book Moore’s Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality and the First Person (Oxford University Press, 2007). Mitchell Green has also a course available on COURSERA: Know Thyself.

Speaker’s website: http://people.virginia.edu/~msg6m/