20
Oct
08

Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
Metaphors We Live By
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies

•    How people understand their language and their experience
•    Metaphor is for most people a device of the poetic imagination and rhetorical flourish
o    Words rather than action or thought
•    If our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and what we do everyday is very much a matter of metaphor
•    “Argument is War”
o    Many of the ways we argue are actual “doings” of war: verbal battle
o    Structures the actions we perform in arguing
•    What we do and how we understand what we’re doing when we argue
•    “The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.”
o    Argument and war are different things, but argument is discussed in terms of war
•    Language of argument is literal
•    Human thought processes are largely metaphorical
•    Reddy’s Conduit Metaphor:
o    Ideas (or meanings) are objects
o    Linguistic expressions are containers
o    Communication is sending

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