Donald Davidson in his influential paper entitled “What Metaphors Mean,” rejected the possibility of metaphorical meaning for any metaphorical utterance. He argues that meaning of any metaphor is the literal meaning of the same utterance. In this paper, I analyze Davidson’s concept of metaphor in order to isolate the components of his concept of metaphor. In the first section, I highlight different aspects of Davidson’s rejection of metaphorical meaning. His concept of metaphor and its components, are discussed in the second section. The third section is an investigation into his semantic theory of meaning in order to discover the foundation of his view of metaphor. My argument in this paper is that Davidson’s view of metaphor is consistent with his semantic theory of meaning and his theory allows the possibility of metaphorical meaning as a pragmatic phenomenon. It is found that Davidson is not outrightly rejecting the idea of metaphorical meaning but he argues that metaphor cannot be explained within the limits of his semantic theory of meaning.
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