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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 30, 2006

On possible factors in the aesthetic appreciation of metaphors

  • Péter Csatár , Gergely Pethő and Enikő Tóth
From the journal


Gibbs (2002) investigated by experimental methods the question whether the recognition of metaphors in a literary text affects the aesthetic appreciation of recognized expressions. He found that recognition of metaphors improves aesthetic judgments. He explains this by reference to the conceptual theory of metaphor: Identifying a linguistic metaphor provides access to the underlying conceptual metaphor and opens up new ways of interpretation, thereby making the expression more appealing. In this paper, we note some conceptual arguments against Gibbs's conclusion and then present an experiment which aims to verify whether the improvement of judgments observed by Gibbs could have been caused by independent factors, such as social expectations. Surprisingly, although we did not find evidence for such effects, we were not able to reproduce Gibbs's results either. However, the data reveal that aesthetic judgments concerning metaphors are measurable to some extent.

Published Online: 2006-05-30
Published in Print: 2006-05-19

© Walter de Gruyter

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