All writers know the power of good figurative language, but do you know about the power of metaphors?
Elisabeth (Liz) Camp does. As the Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, she has been researching “thoughts and utterances that don’t fit standard prepositional models.” She delves into the overlap between “philosophy of mind and philosophy of language,” and pays special attention to the topics that intersect with aesthetics.
According to Camp, she is interested in three particular points: cognitive “perspectives,” or the way “one thought structures our overall understanding of a topic, on the development of concepts and tought and how they are in “principle independent of language,” and how to draw the distinctions between semantics (what is said) and pragmantics (what is meant).
More importantly, Camp has been thinking about how figurative language–mainly metaphors–pushes people to reconsider how they view those distinctions.
During Camp’s speech, “Why metaphors make good insults,” she will discuss how metaphors are “powerful communicative instruments” because they produce “framing effects” that go beyond simple specific content. These effects are specifically obvious and damanging when the metaphor is an insult, intended to hurt the hearer.
“In case, merely comprehending the metaphor produces a kind of ‘cognitive complicity’ that cannot be undone simply by denying the speaker’s claim.” Camp plans to explain why metaphors produce these effects, how to effectively insult enemies, and how hearers can fight back.
Camp will be at Wake Forest University’s Tribble Hall on March 1 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Fore more information, call (336) 758-5237 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Wake Forest is located at 1834 Wake Forest Road in Winston-Salem.