Essay on The use of Metaphors

Essay on The use of Metaphors

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A metaphor is an influential feature of language. The use of metaphors is apparent in the world as it is used in contexts ranging from everyday conversations to literature to its application to scientific theories. However, achieving a standard understanding of a metaphor's theory or meaning, is difficult. This is because metaphors seems to straddle so many important boundaries: between language and thought, between understanding an individual word and understanding the relation between words, and between rational communication and mere causal association. Thus, many metaphors are open to a whole range of different interpretations, some of which may vary tremendously from one another. In A Better Way to Think About Business, Solomon makes an attempt to refute the many metaphors associated with business, and conclude by classifying them as measly myths. Theses metaphors include: "It's a jungle out there!," "Business is war," "Business is an efficient money-making machine," and, "Business is a game." Solomon does not only view these metaphors as being negative representations of business, but he also believes they are being wrongly associated with business in general. This paper will challenge Solomon's interpretations by elucidating alternative analyses of these selected metaphors.
In regards to Darwinian concepts of "survival of the fittest" and "it's a jungle out there," Solomon interprets these metaphors as illustrating business as being competitive, and not always fair. He refute these metaphors by stating that business "is (or should be) anything but uncivilized and devoid of rules or fairness," and that "competition [should take] place not in a jungle but in a well-ordered society that it both serves and depends upon" (Sol...


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...initely applicable and provides an appropriate way of thinking about business.
In conclusion, metaphors provide a foundation for open interpretation and ambiguity. How one construes a metaphor's meaning would affect how one feels regarding its relevance and applicability to the context in hand. Solomon's presumptions regarding the symbolism in the metaphors discussed, were different from my own. While Solomon felt the metaphors cast a negative and false image of business, I felt they presented a realistic and appropriate representation. While he insists that the metaphors should not be the way one thinks about business, I believe it is. In short, while holding mutually valid reasons for our conclusions, Solomon and I both offer differing opinions on whether the use of the metaphors discussed in this essay, are actually a fair representation of business or not.

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