The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending And The Mind's Hidden Complexities

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Basic Books, Aug 6, 2008 - Psychology - 464 pages
2 Reviews
In its first two decades, much of cognitive science focused on such mental functions as memory, learning, symbolic thought, and language acquisition --the functions in which the human mind most closely resembles a computer. But humans are more than computers, and the cutting-edge research in cognitive science is increasingly focused on the more mysterious, creative aspects of the mind. The Way We Think is a landmark synthesis that exemplifies this new direction. The theory of conceptual blending is already widely known in laboratories throughout the world; this book is its definitive statement. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner argue that all learning and all thinking consist of blends of metaphors based on simple bodily experiences. These blends are then themselves blended together into an increasingly rich structure that makes up our mental functioning in modern society. A child's entire development consists of learning and navigating these blends. The Way We Think shows how this blending operates; how it is affected by (and gives rise to) language, identity, and concept of category; and the rules by which we use blends to understand ideas that are new to us. The result is a bold, exciting, and accessible new view of how the mind works.
 

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The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind's hidden complexities

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Conceptual blending, a process that operates below the level of consciousness and involves connecting two concepts to create new meaning, can be used to explain abstract thought, creativity, and ... Read full review

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It includes an attractive topic: hidden functions that support language comprehension. The language is vivid and framework is great. But it doesn't reveal mind functions any further. It just a systematic survey with pretty novel perspective.

Contents

The Age of Form and the Age of Imagination
3
The Tip of the Iceberg
17
The Elements of Blending
39
On the Way to Deeper Matters
59
Cause and Effect
75
Vital Relations and Their Compressions
89
Compressions and Clashes
113
Continuity Behind Diversity
139
Category Metamorphosis
269
Multiple Blends
279
MultipleScope Creativity
299
Constitutive and Governing Principles
309
Form and Meaning
353
The Way We Live
389
Notes
397
References
407

The Origin of Language
171
Things
195
The Construction of the Unreal
217
Identity and Character
249
Further Important Work on Conceptual Blending
417
Index
425
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About the author (2008)

Gilles Fauconnier is Professor and Chairman of the Cognitive Science Department at the University of California, San Diego. Mark Turner is Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

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