Here be dragons: a primer for tropology and the philosophical cartography thereof

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My job in this thesis is to explore a supposedly dragon-filled area of philosophy, tropology. By 'tropology,' I only mean the study of figurative speech, or, more particularly, metaphors. It

My job in this thesis is to explore a supposedly dragon-filled area of philosophy, tropology. By 'tropology,' I only mean the study of figurative speech, or, more particularly, metaphors. It seems clear to most people that metaphors have meaning. But this fact flies in the face of several different theories of meaning. Such as, the meaning of a metaphor can't be properly conveyed by Possible Worlds Semantics or Truth-Conditional Semantics. Tropology is also an area of philosophy with very few commonly accepted theories. It is not like the study of reference, where there are two theories, each having a large following. The the various theories in tropology are so radically different, with each having relatively few followers, that the it is widely unexplored in philosophy. Some theories claim that metaphors is the exact same as another use of speech (namely, similes). Another claims that metaphors lack “meaning.” And a third claims that metaphors do 'mean' but getting at that meaning requires some special mental operations. By the end of this thesis, you will not only have my map of tropology, my theory of metaphors, but also some experimental philosophy about them to help put to rest some theories.