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Blending Extended writing Framing Knowledge Metaphor Philosophy of Science

What is not a metaphor: Modelling the world through language, thought, science, or action

The role of metaphor in science debate (Background) Recently, the LSE podcast an interesting panel on the subject of “Metaphors and Science”. It featured three speakers talking about the interface between metaphor and various ‘scientific’ disciplines (economics, physics and surgery). Unlike many such occasions, all speakers were actually very knowledgeable and thoughtful on the subject. […]

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Education Extended writing History Language

Three books of the year 2013 and some books of the century 1900-2013

I have been asked (as every year) to nominate three books of the year for Lidové Noviny (a Czech paper I contribute to occasionally). This is always a tough choice for me and some years I don’t even bother responding. This is because I don’t tend to read books ‘of the moment’ and range widely […]

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Extended writing Framing Knowledge Linguistics

Framing and constructions as a bridge between cognition and culture: Two Abstracts for Cognitive Futures

I just found out that both abstracts I submitted to the Cognitive Futures of the Humanities Conference were accepted. I was really only expecting one to get through but I’m looking forward to talking about the ideas in both. The first first talk has foundations in a paper I wrote almost 5 years ago now about […]

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Education Extended writing Knowledge Language Linguistics

Pseudo-education as a weapon: Beyond the ridiculous in linguistic prescriptivism

Most of us are all too happy to repeat clichés about education to motivate ourselves and others to engage in this liminal ritual of mass socialization. One such phrase is “knowledge is power”. It is used to refer not just to education, of course, but to all sorts of intelligence gathering from business to politics. […]

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Metaphor Scholarship

RaAM 9 Abstract: Of Doves and Cocks: Collective Negotiation of a Metaphoric Seduction

Given how long I’ve been studying metaphor (at least since 1991 when I first encountered Lakoff and Johnson’s work and full on since 2000) it is amazing that I have yet to attend a RaAM (Researching and Applying Metaphor) conference. I had an abstract accepted to one of the previous RaAMs but couldn’t go. This […]

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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 […]

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Extended writing Knowledge Linguistics Metaphor Philosophy

The brain is a bad metaphor for language

Note: This was intended to be a brief note. Instead it developed into a monster post that took me two weeks of stolen moments to write. It’s very light on non-blog references but they exist. Nevertheless, it is still easy to find a number of oversimplifications,  conflations, and other imperfections below. The general thrust of […]

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Extended writing Linguistics

Why Chomsky doesn’t count as a gifted linguist

Somebody commented on the Language Log saying “of course […] Chomsky was a massively gifted linguist” http://j.mp/9Q98Bx and for some reason, to use a Czech idiom, the handle of the jar repeatedly used to fetch water just fell off. Meaning, I’ve had enough. I think we should stop thinking of Chomsky as a gifted linguist. […]

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Extended writing

Hacking a metaphor in five steps

Preliminaries Image via Wikipedia 1. Before you start metaphor hacking you must first accept that you don’t have a choice but to speak in some sort of a figurative fashion. Almost nothing worth saying is entirely literal and there are many things whose “literalness” is rooted in metaphor. Look at “I sat in a chair […]

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Extended writing

What it’s all About

Image via Wikipedia Metaphors are not just something extra we use when we’re feeling poetic or at a loss for le mot juste, they are all over our minds, texts and conversations. Just like conjunctions, tenses or word. And just like anything else, they can be used for good or ill, on purpose or without […]