CFA: Conference on Metaphors in Use

Call for Abstracts: Metaphors in Use

Third Annual Lehigh University Conference in Philosophy, October 8 & 9, 2015

Keynote Speakers: Elisabeth Camp, Rutgers; Bryan Van Norden, Vassar; Lynne Tirrell, U Mass, Boston

Conference website: <>


Metaphors do heavy lifting in philosophical thinking.  Many of us take it for granted that you can’t get something from nothing, time flows, good building projects require good foundations, music has movement, rafts can’t be built at sea, minds are like computers and cognition has architecture, etc.   Cashing out metaphors can have interesting consequences for the positions they undergird, and important questions arise regarding how we are to understand arguments from metaphor.

We invite submissions that address issues relating to the roles metaphors play in philosophical argumentation, especially aspects of specific arguments from metaphor, evaluating their success, consequences, and power.  We also seek submissions that address broader issues of the nature of metaphor and their place in philosophical work.  We welcome submissions from all philosophical perspectives and any philosophical area.

Electronic Submissions of detailed abstracts (750-1000 words) should be in Word or pdf format. Reading time for presented papers is 30 minutes.

Abstracts should be sent to <> with “LU conference submission” as subject. Please include in body of e-mail your name, paper title, institutional affiliation, and contact information

Suggested topics include but aren’t exhausted by:

  • What does a particular argument from metaphor commit us to? Is the commitment one we ought to accept?
  • What happens when we unpack arguments that involve metaphor?
  • What is the role of metaphor in Philosopher X’s theory?
  • Does treating the idea that music has movement or that time flows as a metaphor affect how we theorize about musical expressiveness or time?
  • How do arguments from metaphor affect views on fundamentality?
  • What is metaphorical metaphysics?  Can we do it?
  • Could the foundations of philosophy be entirely constructed without metaphor?
  • Should we take metaphors literally?
  • How can we respond to arguments from metaphor?
  • Is philosophy unique in its use of metaphor?

Department of Philosophy
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA

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