Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Emotion, and Narrative
A criticism of CMT that I regularly encounter is that its universalizing tendencies efface the cultural specificity of the phenomena it purports to explain. But this is not, I think, a criticism that stands up to scrutiny.A case in point would be the ancient Greek use of various kinds of garment metaphor for a wide range of emotions, but especially shame and grief.
Conceptual blending and historical understanding in Polybius
Scholars often characterise Polybius’ way of writing as clunky, heavy-going and unsophisticated. I fundamentally disagree with this assessment, which reflects stereotypes and prejudices about the decline of Greek literature and style after the ‘classical’ period. In this short entry, I will show that more attention to Polybius’ style, encouraged by cognitive approaches such as conceptual blending, opens up new perspectives on how this fascinating author conceived of the process of historical understanding.
What does Language have to do with Cognitive Framing?
As a linguist – and in particular, one working with older texts as data– a major benefit of cognitive framing for textual analysis is the awareness that I’m constrained by knowledge about human cognition. If I can’t read long-ago authors’ or redactors’ minds, I can at least propose textual meanings and readings that are plausible for a human, embodied brain.
Meat in Cooking Pots? How Cognitive approaches to Metaphor help us Read Ezekiel
Readers of the ancient Israelite book of Ezekiel have long been fascinated, bewildered, and provoked by its imagery. One well-known example is the description of the prophet’s visionary experience in the first chapter, in which he sees multi-headed creatures, wheels with eyes, and the deity seated on a throne. This text became important as a model for ancient readers who wished to have similar ecstatic experiences. In more recent times, it has inspired numerous songs, paintings, and drawings.