Categories
Extended writing Gender

I object: A male feminist’s view on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding dress

Maybe I should be watching more TV but I honestly had no idea what Kate Middleton looked like. There must have been times I would have heard references to her and thought she was some kind of actress or model. And frankly, I still don’t care. But I do care about her dress. I am […]

Categories
Blending Extended writing Framing Metaphor Poetry

Poetry without metaphor? Sure but can it darn your socks?

Over on the Language Log, Victor Mair puts to rest that all English expressions have to be tensed and thus prevent timeless poetry. He shares his translation of a 13th century Chinese poet thus: Autumn Thoughts by Ma Zhiyuan Withered wisteria, old tree, darkling crows – Little bridge over flowing water by someone’s house – Emaciated […]

Categories
Extended writing Knowledge Metaphor Religion

Religion, if it exists, is negotiation of underdetermined metaphoric cognition [UPDATED]

Preamble I am an old atheist and a new agnostic. I don’t believe in God in the old-fashioned Russellian way – if I don’t believe in Krishna, Zeus, water sprites or the little teapot orbiting the Sun, I don’t believe in God and the associated supernatual phenomena (monotheism my foot!). However, I am agnostic about […]

Categories
Extended writing History Philosophy

Life expectancy and the length and value of life: On a historical overimagination

About 10 years ago, I was looking through a book on populations changes in the Czech lands. It consisted of pretty much just tables of data with little commentary. But I was shocked when I came across the life expectancy charts. But not shocked at how short people’s lives had been but how long. The […]

Categories
Extended writing Metaphor

Why don’t metaphorical hawks kill metaphorical doves?

A very common metaphor in the political discourse on war is that of doves (peaceniks) and hawks (war-mongers). It has been around at least since the cold war. But it stops at “doves=peaceful” and “hawks=aggressive”. It completely ignores other properties of the animals, e.g. the fact that “hawks hunt and kill doves”. I did a […]