The Method of Metaphor (Book)

Both sides in controversies tend to argue they have logic on their side. This book proposes that the interminable nature of these controversies suggests there is a problem with the main tool of logic, the syllogism. An alternative mode of judgment is needed. Drawing on contemporary and classic sources in social theory and philosophy, Stanley raffle argues that metaphors are not just aesthetic tools; they can be used to judge phenomena. Featuring case studies drawn from both literary material and current controversial debates, The Method of Metaphor ultimately demonstrates the value of this neglected potential of metaphoric reasoning and shows its far-reaching implications in both moral behaviour and moral education.


STANLEY RAFFEL is an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University where he taught contemporary and classic social theory. He has been a Visiting Professor at York University in Toronto. He was born in Boston, MA, and has lived in Scotland since 1971.


Chapter 1: Metaphor in Dante 

Chapter 2: Metaphor in Fairy Tales 

Chapter 3: Sontag’s Critique of Metaphors 

Chapter 4: Abortion 

Chapter 5: Metaphors and the Issue of Incommensurability 

Chapter 6: Israel and Palestine

Chapter 7: The Problem of Evil 

Chapter 8: Tragedy vs Comedy 

Chapter 9: Teaching 

Chapter 10: Oriented Action 

Chapter 11: Bad Metaphors 

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