June special! This is the first of four weekly instalments of an interview with Peter Stockwell, Professor of English at the University of Nottingham and author of Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction (2d ed.; Routledge, 2019). Here, Peter describes how he began to use of cognitive science to study literature, and simultaneously gives us a window into how cognitive science entered literary studies altogether.
The cognitive structuring of language points, furthermore, to the importance of metaphors. Cognitive models, populated by encyclopedic knowledge, provide the patterns through which we apprehend our experiences. Thus, experience is never unmediated. Language, therefore, is ultimately metaphorical since our apprehensions of reality are always representational.