Metaphor explained

“According to him [Mac Cormac], the cognitive process of creating new metaphors produces new expressions of experience. The process is almost inexplicable, but at least the following things are obvious in this process: one has to have a motivation to create a new insight by means of a metaphor; one has to explore both the features of similarity and dissimilarity present in a metaphor; and one has to transgress the normal semantic rules of association. What is considered normal is, however, flexible, and new metaphors may change the limits of normal, that is, rules. Emotional tension plays the most important role in providing the motivataion for metaphor creation. When creating a new metaphor, a person juxtaposes ‘conceptual referents’ in a new way producing semantic anomaly and a new conceptual insight. In this process similar attributes are identified, and an analogy thereby formed, and, on the other hand, dissimilar attributes identified, and thereby an anomaly produced. The new insight illuminates a problem or experience.”   — from “Minds as Connoting Systems: Logic and the Language of Thought” by Veikko Rantala and Tere Vadén in the May 1997 edition of Erkenntnis


Comments are closed.