Department of Philosophy Guest Speaker Elisabeth Camp

09/30/2011 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 231, Student Center

On Friday September 30, 2011 Elisabeth Camp of the University of Pennsylvania will give a guest lecture sponsored by the Department of Philosophy. The talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will take place in Room 231 of the Student Center.

“Why Metaphors Make Good Insults”


Metaphors are powerful communicative instruments partly because they produce 'framing effects' that go beyond any specific content the speaker claims.  These effects are especially obvious, and especially damaging, when the metaphor is an insult, intended to denigrate the hearer or someone associated with him.  In this case, merely comprehending the metaphor produces a kind of 'cognitive complicity' that cannot be undone simply by denying the speaker's claim. I explain why metaphors produce these effects, offer suggestions for how to effectively insult your enemies, and suggest how hearers can fight back.

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