A. E. Denham examines the parallels between moral and metaphorical discourse, and the ways in which our engagement with literary art, and metaphorical discourse in particular, informs our moral beliefs. She suggests that there are three ways in which one's beliefs can be improved: if more of them are true, if more of them are warranted or justified, or if the warrant or justification for some of them is strengthened. So she considers whether and how such improvements can be made to moral beliefs, and what role metaphor can play. It is an integral aim of the work to discern to what extent moral and metaphorical discourse deserve to be regarded as cognitive at all. This involves investigating to what extent such discourses are capable of truth or falsehood, warrant or justification, and how it is that we understand moral judgements and metaphorical expressions. This investigation is founded on an account of the nature of value and of our experience of value. Metaphor and Moral Experience offers a fresh view of the nature of the moral and the metaphorical, and thus throws light on the relations between art and morality, and on our understanding of both.
Alison Denham is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Anne's College, Oxford