July 15, 2011 § 2 Comments
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a review of James Geary’s I is an other, a new book on the place of metaphors in language. This quote from Geary was well received –
Metaphor conditions our interpretations of the stock market and, through advertising, it surreptitiously infiltrates our purchasing decisions. In the mouths of politicians, metaphor subtly nudges public opinion; in the minds of businesspeople, it spurs creativity and innovation. In science, metaphor is the preferred nomenclature for new theories and new discoveries; in psychology, it is the natural language of human relationships and emotions.
Although I wouldn’t go as far as someone like Derrida, I think there is definitely value in the work of someone like George Lakoff who advanced the idea that metaphors are a conceptual (not merely linguistic) construction. His forays into political science, through things like conservative concepts of the paternal state versus progressive concepts of a maternal state, are pretty useful.