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Conceptual Blending And Metaphor Theory

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Chapter Summary

Metaphor has fascinated and bothered philosophers since the ancient Greeks. Medieval commentators were chary of metaphor, seeing it primarily as a stylistic device. In contemporary metaphor research, the input which provides the framework or structure for the metaphor is referred to as the source domain, and the input which is being examined is the target domain. This chapter argues that close examination of the inputs and results of these blends helps reveal the text's underlying theology and ideology. By "unpacking" them, examining the domains which contribute to them and the emergent structure which comes as a result of the blend, one can identify the unspoken, possibly unconscious implications of the text. As both blending theory and metaphor theory argue that metaphors are a way of thinking, and that metaphors do cognitive work, we can rightfully ask what instinctive cognitive work is being performed by these metaphors.

Keywords: conceptual blending; metaphor theory



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