Mag 152017

The Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Philosophy of the University of Cagliari will host the international conference

Metaphor and Argumentation

May 25-27, 2017

Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy
University of Cagliari

Cagliari, Italy


flyer: LocandinaMetaphorOsservatorio

The conference is part of an ongoing interdisciplinary research project on the persuasive effects of metaphors in argumentation. It aims to bring together leading experts from philosophy, argumentation studies, cognitive science, and linguistics in an attempt to shed light on the nature of metaphors and their impact and usefulness in argumentation in the context of a knowledge society.


  • Nicola Angius (University of Sassari).
  • John Barnden (Birmingham University)
  • Francesco Bianchini (University of Bologna)
  • Pablo Cobreros (University of Navarra)
  • Chris Fermueller (Technical University of Vienna)
  • Bipin Indurkhya (Jagellonian University)
  • Alessandra Melas (University of Sassari)
  • Alberto Mura (University of Sassari)
  • Giuseppe Primiero (Middlessex University)
  • Gerard Steen (University of Amsterdam)
  • Tim Van Gelder (Melbourne University)
  • Jean Wagemans (University of Amsterdam),

On Saturday, 27 May, there will be a satellite workshop on transversal skills in a knowledge society (in Italian). Further information on the workshop is available in the Workshop section of the conference website.

We would like to extend a warm invitation to participate to all those who are interested in cognitive, communicative, and linguistic aspects of metaphor and argumentation. No registration required. For further information on the conference please contact Amitash Ojha at

The conference is organised by the Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Philosophy, with the financial support of the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna through grant L.R. n. 7/2007, ”Argomentazione e Metafora. Effetti della comunicazione persuasiva nel territorio sardo” and through Osservatorio socio-territoriale per la comunicazione pubblica.

Mag 152017

A partire dall’11 maggio 2017 fino al 23 maggio 2017, nell’ambito del programma Visiting Professor finanziato dalla Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, il Prof. Charles Forceville (University of Amsterdam) visiterà il gruppo di ricerca Linguisticamente e terrà un corso intitolato:

Pictorial and Multimodal Metaphor and Cognition

Il programma del corso è reperibile al seguente indirizzo:

Mag 152017

Per tutto il mese di maggio 2017, nell’ambito del programma Visiting Professor finanziato dalla Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, il Prof. John Barnden (University of Birmingham) visiterà il gruppo di ricerca Linguisticamente e terrà un corso intitolato:

Metaphor: its Depth, Breadth and Weight

Il programma del corso è reperibile al seguente indirizzo:

Ago 312015

The research group “Linguistica.Mente” is pleased to announce the forthcoming research project:

Principal investigator:  Prof. Elisabetta Gola (University of Cagliari)
Research unit of the project “Argomentazione e Metafora. Effetti della comunicazione persuasiva nel territorio sardo” (PI: Prof. Francesco Paoli), financed by Autonomous Sardinia Region – RAS.


Is there a relationship between metaphor and argumentation? Argumentation succeeds when it keeps the truth and the force of reasoning, while metaphor succeeds when it provides sentences with aptness and persuasive force, even though it makes them false and improper. Everyday sentences, such as “life is a journey”, contains metaphors. We can utter sentences with new metaphors, such as “life is a picture”, which is false as well as “life is a journey”. However, even though both of them are literally false, only “life is a journey” has a good degree of strength. That is not only because it is a dead metaphor, i.e. part of everyday language use, but also because it favors a greater number of useful logical inferences to understand the complex concept of “life”.
Many advertisements consist of a statement where a metaphor occurs. An example is the advertisement proposed by “Vacanze romane” Italian bar and restaurant chain: “Coffee is balm for the heart and the spirit”. This sentence is clearly false: coffee is not a balm. However its context of use might cause it to be perceived as true, or at least plausible, and induce people to have a coffee in that bar, because its coffee is restoring like a balm. From a literal point of view, it is false, but from a non-literal point of view it seems true. This might be the reason why metaphor is used in advertising: for its highly persuasive nature. In an argument used to persuade someone, a sentence containing an effective metaphor might then facilitate the desired effect.
Metaphors and argumentation are then tightly tied themes: the soundness of an argument could depend on the aptness of a metaphor and, vice versa, the success of a metaphor could come from the force of an underpinning argument. Following this intuition, the research project aims at understanding the effect of metaphor in arguments, by answering two questions:
1. How much can metaphors influence the truth-condition perception of a statement?
2. How much can metaphors influence the perception of the soundness of the overall argument?
To answer these questions, the project aims at empirically testing the persuasive force of figurative language in argumentative discourse to understand why and how figurative language leads to argumentative fallacies.
In particular, the project aims at exploring the class of the so-called lexical ambiguity fallacies, where the nature of the terms plays a fundamental role in the comprehension of the overall argument and might influence its persuasive force. Fallacies of this sort inherit their ambiguity from the terms composing them, which can be polysemous in a broad sense, i.e. they may permit several different (literal and non-literal) meanings. A process of meaning disambiguation occurs to identify the argumentative fallacy and, in case of metaphor, a process of interpretation is required. The hypothesis is that the more a metaphor is part of everyday language use in a linguistic community, the more difficult disambiguation and the more persuasive the overall argument.
The analysis of ambiguity fallacies will then follow two tightly bound research lines:

1. A theoretical and empirical research line on the relationship between logic and pragmatic aspects of argumentation, to understand the cognitive processes and linguistic abilities involved in the comprehension of meaning ambiguities which lead to fallacies of reasoning. This part of the project will take place at the University of Cagliari.
2. An application research line on the didactics of critical thinking in small and medium enterprises, to enhance the argumentative and communicative competences of the employers in the customers’ service. This part of the project will take place at the regional section of Confindustria Giovani, the net of Italian young entrepreneurs.

Therefore, this research project proposes an interdisciplinary approach which combines the logic-philosophical analysis and the empirical methodology to study the pragmatic aspects of metaphors in argumentation and to understand how people might become aware of their persuasive force.

Further info: Francesca Ervas,
Website: forthcoming

Mag 072015

Nell’ambito del programma Visiting Professor, Gerard Steen, dell’Università di Amsterdam (Metaphor Lab), da lunedì 11 a venerdì 15 maggio svolgerà un corso specialistico sul tema della metafora nella comunicazione, intitolato “A model for metaphor: metaphor in language, thought and communication”.

Questo il calendario del corso:

lunedì 11 maggio h. 9 – 11 (aula 6)
Lecture 1: A model for metaphor.
Per prepararsi alla lecture è utile leggere l’estratto dell’articolo di Lakoff and Johnson (1980).

martedì 12 maggio h. 9 – 11 (aula 6)
Lecture 2: Metaphor in language.
Per prepararsi alla lecture è utile leggere l’articolo del Pragglejaz Group (2007).

mercoledì 13 maggio h. 9 – 11 (aula 6)
Lecture 3: Metaphor in thought.
Per prepararsi alla lecture è utile leggere l’articolo di Steen (2009).

giovedì 14 maggio h. 9 – 11 (aula 6)
Lecture 4: Metaphor in communication.
Per prepararsi alla lecture è utile leggere l’articolo di Steen (2010).

venerdì 15 maggio h. 9 – 11 (aula 6)
Lecture 5: Structures and functions of metaphor in discourse.
Per prepararsi alla lecture è utile leggere l’articolo di Steen (2011).

Il corso è aperto a tutti gli interessati.
Per coloro che parteciperanno è prevista l’attribuzione di crediti di tipologia D (attività “a scelta dello studente”). Per le modalità e maggiori dettagli consultare il sito o, se siete studenti di Scienze della comunicazione, la bacheca della piattaforma didattica.

Gli articoli di cui è consigliata la lettura sono scaricabili qui:

Locandina: Corso Steen (1)

L’attività è supportata economicamente dalla Regione Autonoma della Sardegna e logisticamente dallo staff del corso di laurea in Scienze della comunicazione.

Gen 072015
Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia, Filosofia
Corso di laurea magistrale in Filosofia e Teorie della Comunicazione
Ciclo di seminari
Voci della filosofia del linguaggio e della mente
Aula Motzo (secondo piano della Facoltà di Studi Umanistici)
Via Is Mirrionis, 1 – 09123 Cagliari
14 gennaio 2015, ore 15:00
Carlo Penco (Università di Genova)
Dipendenza contestuale
21 gennaio 2015, ore 15:00
Pietro Storari (Università di Cagliari)
28 gennaio 2015, ore 15:00
Francesca Piazza (Università di Palermo)
4 febbraio 2015, ore 15:00
Elisabetta Gola (Università di Cagliari)
25 febbraio 2015, ore 15:00
Grazia Basile (Università di Salerno)
25 marzo 2015, ore 15:00
Alberto Voltolini (Università di Torino)
Giochi di parole
1 aprile 2015, ore 15:00
Elisabetta Lalumera (Università di Milano-Bicocca)
8 aprile 2015, ore 15:00
Filippo Domaneschi (Università di Costanza)
22 aprile 2015, ore 15:00
Pierluigi Lecis (Università di Cagliari)
29 aprile 2015, ore 15:00
Giuseppe Sergioli (Università di Cagliari)
6 maggio 2015, ore 15:00
Diego Zucca (Università di Sassari)
13 maggio 2015, ore 15:00
Marco Mazzone (Università di Catania)
27 maggio 2015, ore 15:00
Pietro Perconti (Università di Messina)
3 giugno 2015, ore 15:00
Guido Seddone (Università di Sassari)
10 giugno 2015, ore 15:00
Marco Giunti (Università di Cagliari)

Ogni mercoledì un relatore, introdurrà un tema e lo approfondirà raccontando le proprie ricerche in modo accessibile agli studenti del Corso di laurea magistrale in Filosofia e Teorie della Comunicazione e a chiunque voglia partecipare alla discussione. Siete tutti benvenuti!
Per ulteriori informazioni: 
Francesca Ervas,
Nov 252013

RaAM 10 conference: Metaphor in Communication, Science and EducationCagliari, June 20-23, 2014

Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy
School of Communication Science
University of Cagliari

We are pleased to announce the 10th conference of the Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM), which will be held in Cagliari, Island of Sardinia, Italy, from 20 to 23 June 2014.

The Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor welcomes researchers from various theoretical approaches studying metaphor and metonymy in different forms of expression and in different realms of use in society (e.g., educational, political, commercial, artistic). Contributors to the 2014 conference may approach metaphor and metonymy from a variety of perspectives (including philosophical, cognitive, discursive, cultural, pedagogical, social, etc.) and by applying a variety of methods (including discourse analytical methods, corpus-based methods, experimental methods, etc.)

The theme for 2014 is “Metaphor in Communication, Science and Education”, and the keynote speakers in these three general areas are:

Communication: Gerard Steen (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Science: Silvano Tagliagambe (University of Cagliari, Italy)
Education: Graham Low (University of York, UK)

The conference will also include two themed panels specifically dedicated to metaphor in science:

Metaphor in Human Sciences, directed by Liliana Albertazzi (University of Trento, Italy). Invited speakers: Zoltán Kövecses (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary), Susanne Niemeier (University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany) and Tony Veale (University College Dublin, Ireland).

Metaphor in Natural Sciences, directed by Elena Gagliasso (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy) and Giulia Frezza (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy). Invited speakers: Martin Döring (University of Hamburg, Germany), Carmela Morabito (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy) and Andrea Grignolio (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy).
Call for papers

Abstracts of 20-minute papers (no more than 400 words, excluding references) and poster presentations are invited on any topic in the broad areas indicated: communication, science and education. The main language of the conference will be English, but there will also be one track of papers in Italian. Abstracts should be prepared for blind refereeing and submitted electronically via the online submission system EasyChair, which can be accessed at the following address:

Please follow the instructions on how to create a new user account. Once you are registered, you will be able to log on to EasyChair, create your abstract, modify it as necessary, and submit it.

Deadline for abstracts submissions: December 31, 2013
Notification of acceptance/rejection: March 1, 2014

Prizes will be awarded for the best paper by a PhD student. PhD students can indicate their interest in being considered for this prize via the EasyChair submission site. A number of tutorials, geared toward PhD students, will be offered on June 21, 2014. Furthermore, a limited number of bursaries, based on merit and/or financial need, will be available for PhD students who have had their abstracts accepted. The bursaries will be offered by RaAM and the local organising committee and entail a fee waiver and help towards travel costs.

For further information, please email or visit the conference website

The scientific committee:
Cristina Cacciari (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)
Robyn Carston (University College London, UK)
Jonathan Charteris-Black (University of the West of England, UK)
Alan Cienki (Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands)
Seana Coulson (University of California, San Diego, USA)
Alice Deignan (University of Leeds, UK)
Vincenzo Fano (University of Urbino, Italy)
Charles Forceville (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Rachel Giora (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
Bipin Indurkhya (AGH Univ. of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland and IIT, Hyderabad, India)
Beatrice Ligorio (University of Bari, Italy)
Jeannette Littlemore (University of Birmingham, UK)
Maria Teresa Musacchio (University of Padua, Italy)
Andreas Musolff (University of East Anglia, UK)
Francesco Paoli (University of Cagliari, Italy)
Elena Semino (Lancaster University, UK)

The local organizing committee:
Francesca Ervas, Elisabetta Gola and Pietro Storari (chairs);
Valentina Favrin, Antonio Ledda, Maria Grazia Rossi, Giuseppe Sergioli, Filippo Spanu.

Not yet a member of the RaAM International Association and wish to join?
See the link for ‘Joining’ on the web page

Ago 052013

Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy (SIFA)
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy – University of Cagliari

3rd SIFA Graduate Conference: “Language, Logic and Mind”

Comune di Cagliari – September 16-18, 2013


Monday 16th September 2013
Aula Motzo, first floor

10:00-10:45    Registration and coffee
10:45-11:00     Welcome and Introduction

11:00-12:15    Language – Keynote speaker: Emma Borg (University of Reading), The Empirical Evidence for Semantics: What Can it Tell Us and Why?

12:15-14:30    Lunch

Session A, Aula Motzo – Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics
14:30-15:15    Mark Pinder (University of Bristol), Borg’s Minimalism and the Liar Paradox
15:15-16:00    Diana Mazzarella (University College London), “Optimal Relevance” as a Pragmatic Criterion. The Role of Epistemic Vigilance

Session B, Aula 6 – Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
14:30-15:15    Davide Bordini (University of Milan), Phenomenal Intentionality: Transparency Is not Enough
15:15-16:00    François Kammerer (Université Paris-Sorbonne), Conscious Experiences as Ultimate Seemings: Renewing the Phenomenal Concept Strategy

16:00-16:30    Coffee break

Session A, Aula Motzo – Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics
16:30-17:15    Serena Maria Nicoli (University of Turin), Williamson on the Psychological View. A Criticism
17:15-18:00    Dan Zeman (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris), Temporalism in an Extensional Framework

Session B, Aula 6 – Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
16:30-17:15    Giacomo Melis (Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen), Understanding Undermining Defeat
17:15-18:00    Takuya Niikawa (Hokkaido University, Sapporo), Naive Realism and Demonstrative Thought

Tuesday 17th September 2013
Aula Motzo, first floor

9:30-10:45    Logic – Keynote speaker: J.C. Beall (University of Connecticut & University of Aberdeen), The Knower Paradox as Spandrel of Truth

10:45-11:15    Coffee break

Session A, Aula Motzo – Logic and Philosophy of Science
11:15-12:00    Fabio Corpina (University of Cagliari), The Ancient Master Argument and Two Examples of Contemporary Tense Logic
12:00-12:45    Laura Celani (University of St. Andrews), Epistemic Paradoxes and Bridge Principles

Session B, Aula 6 – Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics
11:15-12:00    Giulia Felappi (King’s College, London), Propositional Attitudes and Deferred Reference
12:00-12:45    Samuele Iaquinto (University of Milan), On the Semantic Evaluation in Gettier Cases

12:45-14:45    Lunch

14:45-16:00    Mind – Keynote speaker: Sarah Sawyer (University of Sussex), Minds and Morals

16:00-16:30    Coffee break

Session A, Aula Motzo – Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
16:30-17:15    Davide Costa (University of Turin), Is Loar’s Case a Threat for Social Externalism?
17:15-18:00    Gabriele Ferretti (University of Urbino), Externalism, Enactive Approach and Canonic Neurons

Session B, Aula 6 – Logic and Philosophy of Science
16:30-17:15    Gaetano Albergo (University of Catania), There is no Such a Thing as A Priori Knowledge that is Certain Knowledge of Incompatibilities
17:15-18:00    Filippo Ferrari (Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen), The Value of Deflationary Truth

21:00        Social Dinner

Wednesday 18th September 2013

Session A, Aula Motzo – Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
9:30-10:15    Sumesh Mk (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay), When the Push of Derivations Come to the Shove of Representations: a Case for Derivational Framework of Cognition
10:15-11:00    Susana Monsò (UNED, Madrid), Does Empathy Require a Theory of Mind?

Session B, Aula 6 – Logic and Philosophy of Science
9:30-10:15    Andreas Fjellstad (Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen), Tonking Around: An Exercise in Conceptual Economy
10:15-11:00    Vasil Penchev (Institute for Philosophical Research, Sofia), Quantum Computer on a Turing Machine

11:00-11:30    Coffee break

Session A, Aula Motzo – Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
11:30-12:15    Francesco Marchi (Ruhr Universität Bochum), Top-down Processes in Visual Object Perception: an Extended Version of the Intermediate Level Hypothesis
Session B, Aula 6 – Logic and Philosophy of Science
11:30-12:15    Emilia Barile (Università San Raffaele, Milan), The Puzzling Concept of “Representation” in Neuroscience

12:15-12:30    Greetings

For further info, visit the website or contact

Mag 102012

Università di Cagliari
Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione
Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia, Filosofia
Corso di Laurea in Scienze della Comunicazione
LinguisticaMente & ALoPhiS (Applied Logic, Philosophy and History of Science)

Synergia Research Group in Logic, Language, Cognition,
History and Philosophy of Sciences – Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”

APhEx. Portale italiano di filosofia analitica

13-14 giugno 2012
Cagliari-Urbino Workshop
Metafora e Argomentazione

Mercoledì 13 giugno 2012
Aula 6 (Corpo Centrale) – Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione dell’Università di Cagliari

Prima sessione_Il linguaggio della metafora
Chair: Pierluigi Graziani (Università di Urbino)

9:00-9:45 Elisabetta Gola (Università di Cagliari), Teorie della metafora
9:45-10:00 Commento: Massimo Sangoi (Università di Urbino)
10:00-10:15 Discussione generale

10:15-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-11:30 Giuseppe Bomprezzi (Università di Urbino), Bontempelli, Calvino, Montale e Luzi: pensieri sulla metafora nella letteratura italiana contemporanea
11:30-11:45 Commento: Francesca Ervas (Università di Cagliari)
11:45-12:00 Discussione generale

12:00-14:30 Pranzo

Seconda sessione_Epistemologia della metafora
Chair: Ines Adornetti (Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Università di Cagliari)

14:30-15:15 Massimo Sangoi (Università di Urbino), Metafore scientifiche: caratteristiche e funzione
15:15-15:30 Commento: Elisabetta Gola (Università di Cagliari)
15:30-15:45 Discussione generale

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-16:45 Valentina Favrin & Pietro Storari (Università di Cagliari), Il ruolo della metafora nella teoria del linguaggio di Mary Hesse
16:45-17:00 Commento: Adriano Angelucci (Università di Urbino)
17:00-17:15 Discussione generale

17:15-18:00 Sara Matera (Università di Urbino), L’ipotesi Gaia: la metafora del pianeta come sistema vivente
18:00-18:15 Commento: Michele Camerota (Università di Cagliari)
18:15-18:30 Discussione generale

20:00 Cena

Giovedì 14 giugno 2012
Aula 6 (Corpo Centrale) – Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione dell’Università di Cagliari

Terza sessione_Argomentare con le metafore
Chair: Claudio Calosi (Università di Urbino)

9:00-9:45 Vincenzo Fano (Università di Urbino), La metafora e la scoperta degli universali
9:45-10:00 Commento: Francesco Paoli (Università di Cagliari)
10:00-10:15 Discussione generale

10:15-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-11:30 Claudio Ternullo (Università di Pisa, University of Liverpool) & Giuseppe Sergioli (Università di Cagliari), Metafora e fallacie del ragionamento analogico
11:30-11:45 Commento: Vincenzo Fano (Università di Urbino)
11:45-12:00 Discussione generale

12:00-15:00 Pranzo

Quarta sessione_Sperimentare con le metafore
Chair: Stefano Federici (Università di Cagliari)

15:00-15:45 Francesca Ervas & Antonio Ledda (Università di Cagliari), Stelle e attori. Sperimentare le metafore nella comprensione di quaternio terminorum
15:45-16:00 Commento: Giuseppe Bomprezzi (Università di Urbino)
16:00-16:15 Discussione generale

16:15-16:45 Coffee Break

16:45-17:30 Adriano Angelucci (Università di Urbino), Metafora ed esperimenti mentali filosofici
17:30-17:45 Commento: Marco Giunti (Università di Cagliari)
17:45-18:00 Discussione generale

Comitato organizzativo:
Francesca Ervas, Elisabetta Gola, Pierluigi Graziani, Massimo Sangoi


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