This essay compares Ivor Armstrong Richards’s and Max Black’s conceptions of metaphor and philosophy. Richards advances an interpretative perspective, starting from a critique of the analytical reduction of philosophy to science. According to Richards, philosophy is tasked with “guaranteeing order”: it must preserve different modes of language from interfering with each other to enable authentic collaboration between different disciplines. He also assigns metaphor the role of presiding over the “ordinary functioning” of language, arguing for a study of language that is “a study of metaphor, through metaphor”. Max Black accepts some of Richards’s assumptions but charges Richards with the same reductive tendency the latter attributed to the analytic perspective. Black attempts to show that the analysis of metaphor that Richards claims to exclude from the referential field is instead possible. His critique is premised in an original and almost humorous argumentative method: on one hand, Black accepts some of his opponent’s arguments; on the other, he intends to show that their implications are actually close to the theses his opponent is contesting, nullifying the foundations of the latter’s argument. The effort to defend the analytical approach to the problem posed by metaphor is an important premise for Black’s interaction view.
Ivor Armstrong Richards and Max Black on metaphor: comparing modes of argumentation / Giuliani, Alice. - (2023), pp. 105-124. [10.3726/b20247]