Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It ain't easy

Above all, the key sticking point is the existence of conceptual metaphor. If conceptual metaphors are real, then all literalist and objectivist views of meaning and knowledge are false. We can no longer pretend to build an account of concepts and knowledge on objective, literal foundations. This constitutes a profound challenge to many of the traditional ways of thinking about what it means to be human, about how the mind works, and about our nature as social and cultural creatures.

At the same time, what we have discovered is fundamentally at odds with certain key tenets of postmodernist thought, especially those that claim that meaning is un-grounded and simply an arbitrary cultural construction.

What has been discovered about primary metaphor, for example, simply does not bear this out. There appear to be both universal metaphors and cultural variation.—Metaphors We Live By, pages 274–75

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