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Student_Wk_04_ Metaphor

Student_Wk_04_ Metaphor - Week Four Metaphor In addition to...

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Week Four: Metaphor In addition to the Osherson and Singham reading (in Packet One), information for this lecture has been adapted from several sources. 1 I refer you to these sources for a deeper look…. Basic thoughts on metaphor -Greek: meta (over) and pherein (to carry) -essence of metaphor: understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another -ex: “argument is war” -we win or lose arguments; we attack a weak point; he was right on target -three basic ideas implicit in metaphor and its theory -categories (of thoughts) -transference of meanings (fields of meaning) -unity that language formulates in its consequence -each community of speakers can construct its own system of classification -system has cultural categories -speakers construct conversations using these categories -SO: Categories are “dominant semantic fields” that generate their metaphors -ex: world of sports dominates American business and political discourse -there is also a biological component to the creation of metaphors -ex: pressure on chest when sleeping felt like a mare riding on it (= nightmare) -goes further: humans have basic physical structure that constrains our view of the world -stereoscopic vision, bipedal ( look ahead to future, look back at past..) According to Lakoff and Johnson (1980): Most of our concepts are metaphorical -structure what we perceive, how we think, what we do – structure our everyday activities -most fundamental values in culture will be coherent with its basic metaphorical concepts This leads us to the article by Osherson and Singham (1981) Focus of article: look at links between cultural themes and conceptions of the body -ex: Egypt: body is a series of conduits for carrying blood and the humors -body has flood and droughts, similar to the Nile’s flood and droughts -ex: India: body has hierarchical structure, similar to kingdom (body is besieged) Western thought: body is a machine -medicine uses technological concepts to understand and explain the body
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