Metaphor • “The Job of the Fed is to Take Away the Punchbowl Just When the Party is Getting Good” Alan Greenspan. • “Life’s But a Walking Shadow, a Poor Player, That Struts and Frets His Hour Upon the Stage.” Shakespeare, Macbeth.
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an Iron Curtain Has Descended Across the Continent.” Winston Churchill. • “The Moon is an Apple.” Isaac Newton • “The Light That Shines Comes From Thine Eyes.” Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
“Metaphor?” • Looks like a Greek word. • From meta- “more” + pherein- “to bear”
But this is “Social World” • Metaphors are powerful communication tools. • They can change images. • The intuitive appeal of a scientific theory has to do with how well it’s metaphors fit one’s experience.-- L&J
We think in metaphor • Lakoff and Johnson propose that our language is metaphorical . . . • Because we experience, understand, and conceive the world by use of metaphor.
A test. • Incommensurable. • Commensurate. • How do we grasp concepts that are out of reach? (SAT words) • How do we think complex thoughts?
A reply. • We build from basic thoughts and experience. • We were once of short stature and were tabula rossa.
We accept the hypothesis • Concepts are metaphorical. (They are how we think.) • If we think in metaphorical concepts, then they define how we may choose to act. (Activity is metaphorical.)
Metaphors and Social World • Thus far: • Metaphors are important for tools for communicating meaning. • Metaphors are how we think, and therefore define how we create. (Puzzle solving)
Formal Definition • “The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.” L&J
Systematic • Our metaphors are systematic. • Our metaphorical language is systematic. • Why should we expect this?
Example: “Time is Money” • “Time is Money” • “Time is a Limited Resource” • “Time is a Valuable Resource” • We Can Spend, Invest, Budget, Use It Profitably
We Can Use It, Use It Up, Have Enough of It, Run Out of It • We Can Have, Give, Lose, Thank You For • We Use “Time is Money” for the Entire System; It’s the Most Specific Metaphor • It is a pervasive metaphor.
Example: “Love is a Journey” • There are Several Kinds of Journeys • “It’s Been a Long, Bumpy Road.” • “This relationship is a Dead-End Street.” • “We’re Just Spinning Our Wheels.” • “We’re Back On Track.” • “This Relationship is Foundering On the Rocks.”
Two Other Ways of Structuring Metaphors • Orientational • Ontological
Orientational Metaphors • Up-Down • In-Out • Front-Back • On-Off • Deep-Shallow • Central-Peripheral
“Happy is Up; Sad is Down.” • “Virtue is Up; Depravity is Down.” • “Rational is Up; Emotional is Down.”
Ontological Metaphors: • Our Experience With Physical Objects and Substances Provides a Further Basis for Understanding Metaphor • We Often View Events, Activities, Emotions, and Ideas as Entities and Substances
We Refer Metaphorically to Rising Prices As an Entity Via the Noun “Inflation” • We Say: • “Inflation is Taking Its Toll at the Gas Pump” • “Inflation is Lowering Our Standard of Living” • “We Need to Combat Inflation”
Treating Inflation as an Entity Lets Us • Refer to It • Quantify It • Identify a Particular Aspect of It • Act With Respect to It
We Say “The Mind is a Machine” • “We’re Trying to Grind Out the Solution to the Equation.” • “The Wheels are Really Turning Now” • “I’m a Little Rusty Today” • “We’ve Worked on the Problem a Long Time and We’re Running Out of Steam”
The Preservers of History are as Heroic as it Makers -- Pat Neff Hall