Metaphors and Action Schemes: Some Themes in Intellectual History

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Bucknell University Press, 1997 - History - 281 pages
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All our abstract ideas are based on metaphors and action schemes. Jean Piaget did voluminous research on how thought develops in children through assimilation of action schemes. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson have done pioneering work on metaphors and action schemes in everyday thinking. This book builds on those foundations, looking at the role played by metaphors and action schemes in the history of ideas. The author begins his argument by taking a critical look at the philosophy of metaphor from Aristotle to the present. While he sees metaphor as simply conceiving one thing in terms of another, he points out that this is an inexhaustible process, because the context in which the process takes place is always changing. Change opens up new possibilities of similarity. Thus, the metaphor is an open door into a space of infinite possibilities.
 

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Contents

The Nature of Metaphor
21
Metaphor and Intellectual History
43
Action Schemes and Topological Transformations
65
The Ancient World
86
The Medieval Period
117
The Renaissance
133
The Enlightenment to 1900
154
The Twentieth Century
181
Glossary of Metaphors and Schemes
216
Notes
229
Bibliography
261
Index
278
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Page 22 - This power, first put in action by the will and understanding, and retained under their irremissive, though gentle and unnoticed, control (laxis effertur habenis} reveals itself in the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities...
Page 22 - ... opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness, with difference; of the general, with the concrete; the idea, with the image; the individual, with the representative; the sense of novelty and freshness, with old and familiar objects; a more than usual state of emotion, with more than usual order...

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