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Inconsistency in Conceptual Metaphor Theory

In: Cognitive Semantics
Authors:
András Kertész MTA-SZTE-DE Research Group for Theoretical Linguistics and Informatics, Institute of German Studies, University of Debrecen, Hungary

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Csilla Rákosi MTA-SZTE-DE Research Group for Theoretical Linguistics and Informatics, Institute of German Studies, University of Debrecen, Hungary

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Abstract

Although Lakoff and Johnson’s () theory of conceptual metaphor has been extremely popular and successful, it has been criticized in many respects, one of which is its alleged inconsistency. This criticism presupposes that the principle of non-contradiction is the most important pillar of scientific theorizing because its violation turns the theory into logical chaos. Against this background, the paper asks: What kinds of inconsistencies emerge in conceptual metaphor theory and how should they be evaluated? In order to give an answer, the authors introduce , (2022) p-model as a metatheoretical framework, with the help of which they analyse those arguments which charge conceptual metaphor theory with inconsistency. The authors conclude that if the dichotomy between inconsistency and consistency is replaced by the sophisticated distinctions among strong p-inconsistency, well-motivated permanent p-paraconsistency, temporary p-paraconsistency, and p-consistency, then the initial question can be answered in a straightforward manner.

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