Scientific Online Resource System

Conference Proceedings


Slaveyah Goranova


In the present article, we examine the concept of metaphor from a diachronic point of view, beginning with Aristotle’s four types of metaphors and ending with the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. As part of an extended research on medical metaphors, the paper explores Ricœur’s and Derrida’s ideas on metaphor. We espouse the idea that metaphor is all–permeating, and side with Lakoff and Johnson in seeing it is an integral characteristic of human thought. In addition, we accept the two roles of metaphor in science as defined by Ortega y Gasset. Before exploring the nature of medical metaphor, we offer a working definition of discourse and medical discourse in particular. We suggest a new way of looking at medical metaphors, inspired by Ricœur’s understanding of metaphor as a discourse phenomenon. We conclude that viewing metaphor as not being noun–bond in the Aristotelean tradition, but rather – as pertaining to the level of discourse does not negate the stipulations of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory; rather, it augments and further particularizes them in relation to the study of metaphor in medical discourse. 


medical discourse, medical metaphor, discourse

Full Text


Aristotle: Poetics

Derrida, J. 1974: White Mythology: Metaphor in the text of Philosophy. // New Literary History, Vol. 6, No. 1.

Goranova, S. 2022: Metaphor and Metonymy in Action and Interaction in Medical English. // Годишник на Шуменския университет „Епископ Константин Преславски“ – Факултет по хуманитарни науки, т. 33A. // Godishnik na Shumenskiia universitet “Episkop Konstantin Preslavski“ – Fakultet po humanitarni nauki, t. 33A.

Jakobson, R. 1956: Fundamentals of Language. Berlin: Monton de Grayter.

Ortega y Gasset, J. 1946: Las dos grandes metáforas // Obras completas, t. 2. Madrid: Revista de Occidente.

Lakoff, G. 1987: The death of dead metaphor.

Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson 1980: Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Merriam Webster 2023: Discourse.

Ordóñez–López, P., N. Edo–Marzá 2016: Medical Discourse: Building Bridges between Medicine and Society. – In: Ordóñez–López, P. and N. Edo–Marzá (eds.) Medical Discourse in Professional, Academic and Popular Settings. Bristol: Blue Ridge Summit.

Karfik, F. 2021: A Theory of Language between the Cratylus, the Theaetetus and the Sophist

Pacheva-Karabova, S. 2005: Obrazniat aspect na ezika na medicinata. Plovdiv: Meditsinski universitet – Plovdiv. // Пачева-Карабова, С. Образният аспект на езика на медицината. Пловдив: Медицински университет – Пловдив.

Ricœur, P. 1975: The Rule of Metaphor. London: Routledge.

Vaisrub, S. 1977: Medicine’s Metaphors: Messages and Menaces. New Jersey: Medical Economics Company.


Font Size