Have you ever wondered why “Peace Sells…” but nobody’s buying, or how you can be “Caught somewhere in time”, or what “Saint Anger” is? Then you landed in a right place to figure that out!
The thing is that a mental tool called metaphor pervades our abstract thought. Cognitive science has proved that most of the abstract concepts are metaphorically structured through our sensorimotor (embodied) experience. In other words, our human brain makes sense about most of the abstract world by correlating it with our bodily experiences, which are easy to comprehend and to structure. The brain then draws patterns of similarity between physical and abstract domains of experience and generalizes over these patterns. And all this happens in a blink of an eye, naturally and unconsciously, unless you come across something really novel and bizarre!
The phenomenon of metaphorical thought is mainly studied by cognitive linguistics, (neuro-)psychologists, and cognitive scientists in an attempt to figure out how our minds conceptualize and categorize the reality and why they do it in certain peculiar ways. The body of knowledge built up so far is known as the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), which in its modern version comprises several other theories (primary metaphor, neural theory of metaphor, conceptual integration among others). The theory boasts of a great explanatory power and really changes everything when you get acquainted with it!
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Andriy Karamazov. 2014 – 2019. © All rights reserved.