work on symbols that can stand for JUSt about anythmg The cognitive rna h ery

Work on symbols that can stand for just about anythmg

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work on symbols that can stand for JUSt about anythmg. The cognitive rna-h. ery that computes relations among things, places, and causes could C Jn . then be co-opted for abstractadeas. The ancestry of abstract thinking would be ..,isiblc in concrete metaphors, a kind of cognitive. vestigc.t5 Of course. the sources of most of the metaphors JO Lakoff's vast collec-tion aren't just objectS, space, time, and causation. But many of them arc other plausible obsessions for a hominid ancestor.' such as conflict, plants, and disease. And even the complex ones can be built out of more basic con-cepts· For example, the ."vehicle" in t.he LOVE as /1. JOURNEY metaphor can be conceived as a con tamer that moves people along a path toward a goal. If alJabstract thought is metaphorical, and all metaphors are assembled out of biologacally basic concepts, then we would have an explanation for the evolution of human intelligence. Human mtelligence \VOuld be a product of TilE METAPHO R MeTAPHOR 241 metaphor and combinatorics. Metaphor allows the mind to use a few basac ideas-substance, location, force, goal-to understand more abst.ract do-mains. Combinatorics allows a finite set of simple ideas to give rise to an in-finite set of complex ones.16 Another fallout of the metaphor metaphor is the phenomenon of fram-ing. Many disagreements in human affairs turn not on differences in data or logic but on how a problem is framed. We see this when adversaries "talk past each other" or when understanding something requires a "paradigm shift." In the first chapter I mentioned some ex301ples, like invading Iraq versus liberating Iraq, ending a pregnancy versus killing u11 11nborn cln/d, and redtstributing wealth versus confiscating earnings. Each controversy hinges on a choice between metaphors, such as the competing for,c dynamic models that underlie an invasion (an antagonist entering an arc.a by ovcrcom ing the resistance of an agonist) and a liberation (dn antagomst removes another antagonist who is impedmg the free motion of an ago nist). One of the reasons I explained verb construction) tn chapter 2 was that they show that even our most quotidian acts can be framed in different ways, such as the difference between spraying paint on the wall (cause the paint to go) and spraying the wall with paim (cause the wall to change). Within cognitive psychology the most famous example of the effects of framing (brieAy mentioned in chapter 3) comes from an experiment l"ly AmosTversky and Daniel Kahneman, who posed the following problem 10 a sample of doctors:17 "A. new strain of flu is expected to kill 600 people. Two programs to combat the disease have been proposed." Some of t}H.' doctors were then presented with :he following dilemma: If program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved. If program B is adopted, there is a one-third probability that 600 people wtll be saved and a two-thirds probability that no people will be saved. Which of the two programs would you favor?
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  • Spring '09
  • Anderson
  • Metaphor, George Lakoff, Metaphor Metaphor, conceptual metaphors

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