Thursday, August 25, 2016

Close enough for horseshoes...and rituals

Many persuasive analogies are intended to transfer an attribute from one entity to another using the supernatural means of similarity. Here, the same entity—the dog—inhabits both the source and target domains. The ordinary canine ability to ward off strangers is transformed within the blended space of the ritual (see Section 1.6.2) into the supernatural ability to ward off the sinister sign. This transformation is an extension of a natural ability. By presenting the dog’s new role as an extension of its ordinary behavior as watchdog, the speaker makes the role seem easy and natural.—Forestalling Doom page 133

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