The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Blending Metaphors

In 1997, a student of Lakoff, Joe Grady, showed how complex metaphors are made of atomic metaphorical parts (or "primary metaphors") and these are, in turn, the product of cross-domain associations both at the individual and at the social level (that typically occur during the early stages of life).  Atomic metaphorical parts are then "blended" in complex metaphors (as in Gilles Fauconnier's "conventional blending").  A metaphor results in the simultaneous activation of the constituent parts.

Thus we acquire metaphors all the time automatically and unconsciously during our daily life (children often do not separate two elements of an experience that always occur together until later in life).  We then employ these metaphors in our daily life.

Primary metaphors include "affection is warm" (as in "a warm smile"), "important is big" ("a big opportunity"), "more is up" (high prices), "time is motion" ("time flies").


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