The Significance of Metaphor and Other Figurative Modes of Expression and Thought

Country: United Kingdom

City: Canterbury

Abstr. due: 05.01.2015

Dates: 20.04.15 — 20.04.15

Area Of Sciences: Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: University of Kent


2015 Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB)

20-22nd April 2015 University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom

Website for the Convention:

Website for our Symposium:

The Symposium will occupy up to two days at some point within the three days of the Convention

We invite proposals from potential presenters to take part in this Symposium. Details about submissions are at the end of the description.


Communication and expression in language, pictures, diagrams, gesture, music etc. is rich with figurative aspects, such as metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole and irony. People engage in such communication and expression in a variety of contexts and with a range of effects.  Modelling figurative patterns of communication/expression is a key aim of academic disciplines such as linguistics, philosophy, discourse studies, and psycholinguistics, and automatically understanding such phenomena is a long-standing and now expanding endeavour within Artificial Intelligence. A particularly interesting current area of research is work on automatically generating as well as understanding metaphor -- both understanding and generation are emerging as important sites for
addressing long-standing problems in linguistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, and cognitive science more generally. In addition, some researchers have suggested that metaphor can be an
intrinsic part of thought, not just of external communication/expression.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

1. How philosophical thinking on figurative expression and thought can/should be exploited/heeded by relevant AI researchers

2. How computational attempts to model figurative expression can aid philosophical thinking about it

3. How the production of figurative expression reflects speakers' conceptualisations, goals and commitments

4. How to model/analyse/understand the emotional and evaluative content of figurative expression

5. The intersection of issues of figurative expression and issues of embodiment, enactivism, cognitive simulation, etc.

6. Whether thought, as opposed to external expression, can be metaphorical, ironic, etc., and if so what this amounts to (philosophically, computationally, psychologically, ...)

7. How figurative and especially metaphorical thinking might be involved in introspection, and therefore be bound up with the nature of consciousness

8. Links between figurative thought/expression and the nature of creativity

9. Figurative aspects of philosophical theorizing (about any topic), especially as uncovered by detailed technical analysis of figuration

10. Figurative aspects of notions of computation ... and even: could the notion of computation be irreducibly metaphorical?


Conference Web-Site: