Insights through Metaphor. Metaphors, Pictures, and Epistemic Values

June 27, 2024 - June 28, 2024
University of Konstanz



Universität Konstanz
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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It is undeniable that metaphors have an aesthetic dimension. Traditionally, this aesthetic aspect was either emphasized while the epistemic value of metaphors was at the same time diminished or the aesthetic dimension was neglected in order to emphasize the epistemic value of metaphors. At our conference, we want to ask if the aesthetic dimension of metaphors can also strengthen and contribute to the epistemic value of metaphors. To investigate this question we also plan to take into account the relation between metaphors and pictures. It can, for example, be asked to what degree metaphors have pictorial quality. Furthermore, some authors argue that there are genuine visual metaphors. In this context it can be discussed which special properties (if any) metaphors gain when the are realized visually. Further questions are: Can the epistemic value of metaphors be explicated by recourse to the epistemic value of images or pictures? How exactly does the aesthetic relate to the epistemic value in images and metaphors? Which epistemic values can art and aesthetic objects in general have? Is there a genuine epistemic value of metaphors at all? Which value can metaphors and analogies have for science and (scientific) understanding in general? The conference will address these and related questions from the perspective of epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, linguistics, psychology, art history and media theory.


Robyn Carston (University College London)

Roman Frigg (London School of Economics and Political Sciences)

Michalle Gal (Shenkar College)

Dedre Gentner (Northwestern University)

Jacob Hesse (Ruhr University Bochum)

Till Julian Huss (University of Europe for Applied Sciences)

Nikola Kompa (University of Osnabrück)

Alice Murphy (LMU Munich)

Marius Rimmele (University of Zurich)


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June 24, 2024, 9:00am CET

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