Metaphor between Embodiment and Imaginative Processes

Anthropology and Philosophy 9 (1/2):42-57 (2008)

Abstract
In this paper I will analyse the relationship between metaphor and imagination. This issue has been recently studied by cognitive linguists who appreciate its importance, while other semantic perspectives neglect it. I will analyse the thesis which affirms that metaphors are based on cognitive components which are not logical-propositional but imaginative: the “image schemata” are recurrent models of corporeal experiences, centres of knowledge organization which structure – in a non-propositional form – an amount of salient information. This information emerges from the sensorimotor activities such as: manipulation of objects, spatial orientation and focusing perceptive attention on different goals. According to this theory, imagination is the drive of the entire cognitive experience and, through metaphorical projection, it activates and coordinates the schemata from which the very linguistic activity originates. Starting with empirical studies about the cognitive and neurobiological plausibility of image schemata, I will assert the function of imagination as the trait d’union between experience and cognitive use of the metaphor, through the use of sensory and synesthetic metaphors as mediators among perceptive, physical and linguistic dimensions. I hope future research will concentrate on the relationship between synesthesia and image schemata because of their strong connection with human perceptive, cognitive and neural structures.
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Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
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