“F the metaphorical understanding of a situation functions in two parts irst, there is a widespread, relatively fixed set of metaphors that structure how fc we think. for example, a decision to go to war might be seen as a form o ost-benefit analysis, where war is justified …”
Steuter, E., & Wills, D.. (2008). At war with metaphor. Nueva York: Rowman and …
“BACKGROUND:pedomorphism is the retention of ancestrally juvenile traits by adults in a descendant taxon. despite its importance for evolutionary change, there are few examples of a molecular basis for this phenomenon. notothenioids represent one of the best described species flocks among marine fishes, but their diversity is currently threatened by the rapidly changing antarctic climate. notothenioid evolutionary history is characterized by parallel radiations from a benthic ancestor to pelagic predators, which was accompanied by the appearance of several pedomorphic traits, including the reduction of skeletal mineralization that resulted in increased buoyancy.results:we compared craniofacial skeletal development in two pelagic notothenioids, chaenocephalus aceratus and pleuragramma antarcticum, to that in a benthic species, notothenia coriiceps, and two outgroups, the threespine stickleback and the zebrafish. relative to these other species, pelagic notothenioids exhibited a delay in pharyngeal bone development, which was associated with discrete heterochronic shifts in skeletal gene expression that were consistent with persistence of the chondrogenic program and a delay in the osteogenic program during larval development. morphological analysis also revealed a bias toward the development of anterior and ventral elements of the notothenioid pharyngeal skeleton relative to dorsal and posterior elements.conclusions:our data support the hypothesis that early shifts in the relative timing of craniofacial skeletal gene expression may have had a significant impact on the adaptive radiation of antarctic notothenioids into pelagic habitats.”
Thibodeau, P. H., Hendricks, R. K., & Boroditsky, L.. (2017). How Linguistic Metaphor Scaffolds Reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
“Language helps people communicate and think. precise and accurate language would seem best suited to achieve these goals. but a close look at the way people actually talk reveals an abundance of apparent imprecision in the form of metaphor: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. in this article, we review recent evidence that metaphoric language can facilitate communication and shape thinking even though it is literally false. we first discuss recent experiments showing that linguistic metaphor can guide thought and behavior. then we explore the conditions under which metaphors are most influential. throughout, we highlight theoretical and practical implications, as well as key challenges and opportunities for future research. metaphors pervade discussions of abstract concepts and complex issues: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. at a process level, metaphors, like analogies, involve structure mapping, in which relational structure from the source domain is leveraged for thinking about the target domain. metaphors influence how people think about the topics they describe by shaping how people attend to, remember, and process information. the effects of metaphor on reasoning are not simply the result of lexical priming. metaphors can covertly influence how people think. that is, people are not always aware that they have been influenced by a metaphor.”
Hülsse, R., & Spencer, A.. (2008). The metaphor of terror: Terrorism studies and the constructivist turn. Security Dialogue
“Terrorism studies is fascinated with the terrorist actor. though this may seem natural, the present article argues that a different perspective can be fruitful. from a constructivist point of view, terrorism is a social construction. the terrorist actor is a product of discourse, and hence discourse is the logical starting point for terrorism research. in particular, it is the discourse of the terrorists’ adversaries that constitutes terrorist motivations, strategies, organizational structures and goals. hence, the article suggests a shift of perspective in terrorism studies – from an actor-centred to a discourse-centred perspective. it develops a discourse approach that emphasizes the crucial role of metaphors in the making of reality. to illustrate this approach, the metaphorical construction of al-qaeda in the german popular press in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in new york and washington ( 2001), madrid ( 2004) and london ( 2005) is analysed. terrorism was first constituted as war, but from 2004 onwards the principal metaphor shifted from war to crime, constructing al-qaeda as a criminal rather than a military organization. this shift has transformed al-qaeda from an external to an internal threat, which has entailed a shift in counter-terrorism practices from a military to a judicial response.”
Ferrari, F.. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: Investigating a “preventive war” persuasion strategy. Discourse and Society
“The crucial historical moment represented by post 9/11 may undoubtedly be considered responsible for the subsequent hardening of american political rhetoric. and yet, the sudden increase of consensus catalysed by george w. bush and the consequences of his international policy bring his modus persuadendi up for discussion. the aim of this article is to present a framework for a metaphor-based critical analysis of persuasion in political discourse. our object of observation is george w. bush’s public speeches to the nation (2001–4). more specifically, the analysis is focused on the persuasion strategy enacted to promote the preventive war in iraq. in our approach, conceptual metaphor as related to emotion constitutes the fundamental argumentative feature and crucial tool to address the matter of persuasion in text, contributing to identifying both the ideological root and the persuasive strategy of a given discourse in the long run. synthesis of our results shows the potentialities of metaphor as a privileged cognitive tool for abstracting and constructing discourse strategies.”
Thibodeau, P., Mcclelland, J. L., & Boroditsky, L.. (2009). When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime : The role of metaphor in social policy. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
“Metaphors are pervasive in our discussions of abstract and complex ideas (lakoff & johnson, 1980), and have been shown to be instrumental in problem solving and building new conceptual structure (e.g., gentner & gentner, 1983; nersessian, 1992; boroditsky, 2000). in this paper we look at the role of metaphor in framing social issues. our language for discussing war, crime, politics, healthcare, and the economy is suffused with metaphor (schön, 1993; lakoff, 2002). does the way we reason about such important issues as crime, war or the economy depend on the metaphors we use to talk about these topics? might changing metaphors lead us to different conceptions and in turn different social policies? in this paper we focused on the domain of crime and asked whether two different metaphorical systems we have for talking about crime can lead people to different ways of approaching and reasoning about it. we find that framing the issue of crime metaphorically as a predator yielded systematically different suggestions for solving the crime problem than when crime was described as a virus. we then present a connectionist model that explores the mechanistic underpinnings of the role of metaphor.”
Spencer, A.. (2012). The social construction of terrorism: Media, metaphors and policy implications. Journal of International Relations and Development
“The article illustrates a constructivist understanding of studying terrorism and counter-terrorism by applying metaphor analysis to a british tabloid media discourse on terrorism between 2001 and 2005 in the sun newspaper. it identifies four conceptual metaphors constituting terrorism as a war, a crime, an uncivilised evil and as a disease, and it illustrates how these understandings make certain counter-terrorism policies such as a military response, judicial measures or immigration policies acceptable while at the same time excluding from consideration other options, such as negotiations. it thereby re-emphasises that a metaphorical understanding of political phenomena such as terrorism can give international relations insights into how certain policies become possible while others remain outside of the range of options thought to be appropriate.”
At war with metaphor: media, propaganda, and racism in the war on terror. (2013). Choice Reviews Online
“A valuable contribution to our growing understanding of the ways in which we talk ourselves into war, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. it causes us to wonder what might happen if we had the courage to deal with our rivalries and conflicts in a realistic manner rather than dehumanizing and demonizing those we consider enemies. ” —sam keen, author of faces of the enemy when photographs documenting the torture and humiliation of prisoners at abu ghraib came to the attention of a horrified public, national and international voices were raised in shock, asking how this happened. at war with metaphor offers an answer, arguing that the abuses of abu ghraib were part of a systemic continuum of dehumanization. this continuum has its roots in our public discussions of the war on terror and the metaphors through which they are repeatedly framed. arguing earnestly and incisively that these metaphors, if left unexamined, bind us into a cycle of violence that will only be intensified by a responsive violence of metaphor, erin steuter and deborah wills examine compelling examples of the images of animal, insect, and disease that inform, shape, and limit our understand-ing of the war on terror. tying these images to historical and contemporary uses of propaganda through a readable, accessible analysis of media filters, at war with metaphor vividly explores how news media, including political cartoons and talk radio, are enmeshed in these damaging, dehumanizing metaphors. analyzing media through the lenses of race and orientalism, the book invites us to hold our media and ourselves accountable for the choices we make in talking war and making enemies.”
Kövecses, Z.. (2016). Conceptual metaphor theory. In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language
“In a radical departure from theories based on digital, amodal accounts of cognition and language, lakoff and johnson (1980) proposed an account of metaphor as fundamentally conceptual, arguing that familiar linguistic metaphors are but surface manifestations of underlying conceptual relationships. they claimed that most conceptual thought is metaphorical, and conceptual domains are instantiated and expressed in families of conceptual metaphors, such as ‘more is u’, ‘emotionallyintimate is physically close’, ‘argument is war’, ‘love is a journey’, and ‘theories are buildings’. these conceptual metaphors number in the hundreds (gibbs, 1994b; lakoff and johnson, 1999), and they combine to serve as the foundation for new metaphors. for many of these families of metaphors lakoff and johnson trace the underlying metaphor to a literal concept based on embodied physical experience.”
Navaro-Yashin, Y.. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“This article critically engages with recent theoretical writings on affect and non-human agency by way of studying the emotive energies discharged by properties and objects appropriated during war from members of the so-called ‘enemy’ community. the ethnographic material comes from long-term fieldwork in northern cyprus, focusing on how it feels to live with the objects and within the ruins left behind by the other, now displaced, community. i study turkish-cypriots’ relations to houses, land, and objects that they appropriated from the greek-cypriots during the war of 1974 and the subsequent partition of cyprus. my ethnographic material leads me to reflect critically on the object-centred philosophy of actor network theory and on the affective turn in the human sciences after the work of gilles deleuze. with the metaphor of ‘ruination’, i study what goes amiss in scholarly declarations of theoretical turns or shifts. instead, proposing an anthropologically engaged theory of affect through an ethnographic reflection on spatial and material melancholia, i argue that ethnography, in its most productive moments, is trans-paradigmatic. retaining what has been ruined as still needful of consideration, i suggest an approach which merges theories of affect and subjectivity as well as of language and materiality.”
Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E.. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse. Metaphorik.De
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“This paper describes the application of semantic annotation software for analysing metaphor in corpora of different genres. in particular, we outline three projects analysing religion and politics metaphors in corporate mission statements, the war metaphor in business magazines, and machine and living organism metaphors in a novel and in a second collection of business magazine articles. this research was guided by the hypotheses that a) semantic tags allocated by the software can correspond to source domains of metaphoric expressions, and b) that more conventional metaphors feature a source domain tag as first choice in the type’s semantic profile. the tagger was adapted to better serve the needs of metaphor research and automate to a greater extent the extraction of first choice and secondary semantic domains. two of the three studies represent re-analyses of previous manual and/or lexical corpus-based investigations, and findings indicate that semantic annotation can yield more comprehensive results. in”
Yanık, L. K.. (2009). The Metamorphosis of Metaphors of Vision: “Bridging” Turkey’s Location, Role and Identity After the End of the Cold War. Geopolitics
“During the cold war, ‘buffer’ or ‘bastion’ seemed a popular metaphor to describe turkey. after the cold war, ‘bridge,’ (and, to some extent, the ‘crossroad’) metaphor started to dominate the turkish foreign policy dışcourse. this article traces the use of ‘bridge’ metaphor in this dışcourse in the post-cold war period by the turkish foreign policy elite. it develops two arguments. first, the word bridge is a ‘metaphor of vision’ combining turkey’s perceived geographical exceptionalism with an identity and a role at the international level. as a ‘metaphor of vision,’ the employment of the word ‘bridge’ highlighted turkey’s liminality and justified some of its foreign policy actions to eurasia and then to the middle east. second, because the bridge metaphor was used in different context to justify different foreign policy choices, its meaning has changed, illustrating that metaphors are not static constructs. it concludes by sayıng that the continuous use of ‘bridge’ metaphor might reinforce turkey’s ‘liminality,’ placing turkey in a less classifiable category than the regular ‘othering’ practices.”
“Violations of moralnorms can be made ‘morally invisible’ even if all relevant facts are unobscured: This can be achieved by embedding these facts into a context that prevents eliciting widespread unease and indignation. One example is the structural violence associated with the implementation of neoliberal economical doctrine. While societal and humanitarian consequences of this violence have so far been mostly observed in so-called third-world countries, they also manifest themselves more and more often in western industrialized nations. Mass media play a pivotal role in making facts morally and cognitively visible: In addition to reporting simple facts, media typically also deliver the contextual frame necessary for interpreting the facts, thus shaping our political world view. The invisibility of some moral transgressions is thus part of our daily live and concerns us all.” (Mausfeld, 2015)
However, as soon as the causal reason for the fragmentation becomes available to us (i.e., when we become aware of the visual or ideological “mask”) we are able to use inferential deductivecognitive reasoning processes to identify (and understand) the underlying pattern – despite the fragmentation of information/knowledge (see Figure 2). Without this “causative information” which masks the underlying pattern the likelihood of successful pattern recognition is minute (note that both figures display the letter “R” in various orientations – the difference between them is that Figure 2 shows the mask whereas Figure 1 does not) .
Insight1 (cf. Köhler, 1925)2 into the mechanism which causes the occlusion and fragmentation thus allows us to understand the broader meaning of the percept (or the psychological narrative), viz., we are able to see “the bigger picture” in context. This contextual knowledge can be a visual mask or a historical pattern (as outlined below). The adumbrated perceptual analogy is thus generalisable across prima vista unrelated domains (i.e., it is domain non-specific).
The same idea can be applied to the social sphere. An understanding of the mechanisms which undergird “neoliberal psychological indoctrination” is crucial in order to understand the “bigger picture” – the “holistic gestalt” (Ash, 1998; Sharps & Wertheimer, 2000) of the social, political, economic, and academic environment we inhabit. Based on this overarching knowledge we can then “try our best” to take an appropriate and responsible course of action. However, we first have to perceive and acknowledge the problem. That is, a valid diagnosis is primary. Without this broader understanding we “lose sight of the wood for the trees” (cf. global vs. local perception/information processing), that is, we attend to seemingly unrelated semantic information fragments without an understanding of their mutual interrelations. Interestingly, emotions & affective states play a significant modulatory role in the underlying cognitive processes (e.g., Basso, Schefft, Ris, & Dember, 1996; Gasper & Clore, 2002; Huntsinger, Clore, & Bar-Anan, 2010). In other words, our emotional system is centrally involved in perception and reasoning. Therefore, the emotional system (i.e., limbic system) can be systematically manipulated in order to interfere with rational higher-order (prefrontal) cognitive processes which are necessary for logical inferential reasoning and problem-solving. Primordial fear (phylogenetically ancient amygdalae circuitry) is perhaps the most significant inhibitor of higher-order cognitive processes.
Gross, C. T., & Canteras, N. S.. (2012). The many paths to fear. Nature Reviews Neuroscience
“Fear is an emotion that has powerful effects on behaviour and physiology across animal species. it is accepted that the amygdala has a central role in processing fear. however, it is less widely appreciated that distinct amygdala outputs and downstream circuits are involved in different types of fear. data show that fear of painful stimuli, predators and aggressive members of the same species are processed in independent neural circuits that involve the amygdala and downstream hypothalamic and brainstem circuits. here, we discuss data supporting multiple fear pathways and the implications of this distributed system for understanding and treating fear.”
Povinelli, D. J., & Bering, J. M.. (2002). The mentality of apes revisited. Current Directions in Psychological Science
“Although early compara- tive psychology was seriously marred by claims of our spe- cies’ supremacy, the residual backlash against these archaic evolutionary views is still be- ing felt, even though our un- derstanding of evolutionary biology is now sufficiently ad- vanced to grapple with possi- ble cognitive specializations that our species does not share with closely related species. the overzealous efforts to dis- mantle arguments of human uniqueness have only served to show that most compara- tive psychologists working with apes have yet to set aside the antiquated evolutionary ‘lad- der.’ instead, they have only attempted to pull chimpan- zees up to the ladder’s highest imaginary rung–or perhaps, to pull humans down to an equally imaginary rung at the height of the apes. a true com- parative science of animal minds, however, will recog- nize the complex diversity of the animal kingdom, and will thus view homo sapiens as one more species with a unique set of adaptive skills crying out to be identified and understood.”
Ruiz, G., & Sánchez, N.. (2014). Wolfgang Köhler’s the mentality of apes and the animal psychology of his time. Spanish Journal of Psychology
in 1913, the anthropoid station for psychological and physiological research in chimpanzees and other apes was founded by the royal prussian academy of sciences (berlin) near la orotava, tenerife. eugene teuber, its first director, began his work at the station with several studies of anthropoid apes’ natural behavior, particularly chimpanzee body language. in late 1913, the psychologist wolfgang köhler, the second and final director of the station, arrived in tenerife. during his stay in the canary islands, köhler conducted a series of studies on intelligent behavior in chimpanzees that would become classics in the field of comparative psychology. those experiments were at the core of his book intelligenzprüfungen an menschenaffen ( the mentality of apes ), published in 1921. this paper analyzes köhler’s experiments and notions of intelligent behavior in chimpanzees, emphasizing his distinctly descriptive approach to these issues. it also makes an effort to elucidate some of the theoretical ideas underpinning köhler’s work. the ultimate goal of this paper is to assess the historical significance of köhler’s book within the context of the animal psychology of his time.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)
Bernays, E. L. (1928). Propaganda. Horace Liveright.
Bernays, E. L. (1936). Freedom of Propaganda. Vital Speeches of the Day, 2(24), 744–746.
L’Etang, J. (1999). The father of spin: Edward L. Bernays and the birth of public relations. Public Relations Review, 25(1), 123–124.
“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . [a]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power…. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach. … The public must be put in its place, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd.” (Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, Chapter XV)
Lippmann, W. (1920). Liberty and the News. Museum.
Lippmann, W. (1970). The Phantom Public. Politics.
From 1930 onwards, Brecht became part of a wider complex of projects exploring the role of intellectuals (or “Tuis” as he called them) in a capitalist society. A Tui is an intellectual who sells his or her abilities and opinions as a commodity in the marketplace or who uses them to support the dominant ideology of an oppressive society. ] The German modernist theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht invented the term and used it in a range of critical and creative projects, including the material that he developed in the mid-1930s for his so-called Tui-Novel—an unfinished satire on intellectuals in the German Empire and Weimar Republic—and his epic comedy from the early 1950s, Turandot or the Whitewashers’ Congress. The word is a neologism that results from the acronym of a word play on “intellectual” (“Tellekt-Ual-In”).
According to Clark (2006): “… the critique of intellectuals which Brecht developed… around the notion of ‘Tuismus’ engages a model of the public intellectual in which the self-image of the artist and thinker as a socially and politically engaged person corresponded to the expectations of the public.”
Clark, M. W. (2006). Hero or villain? Bertolt Brecht and the crisis surrounding June 1953. Journal of Contemporary History.
Hunt, T. C. N.-. (2004). Goodbye to Berlin: For 200 years, German thinkers have shaped British intellectual life – but their influence is fading fast. The Guardian.
“It is very useful to differentiate between rational and irrational authority. By irrational authority I mean authority exercised by fear and pressure on the basis of emotional submission. This is the authority of blind obedience, the authority you will find most clearly expressed in all totalitarian countries.
But there is another kind of authority, rational authority by which I mean any authority which is based on competence and knowledge, which permits criticism, which by its very nature tends to diminish, but which is not based on the emotional factors of submission and masochism, but on the realistic recognition of the competence of the person for a certain job.”
― 1958. The Moral Responsibility of Modern Man, in: Merrill-Palmer. Quarterly of Behavior and Development, Detroit, Vol. 5, p. 6.
“No expert certification is required to think about these questions, even if the ruling elites try their best to restrict discourse about them to a narrow group of “qualified experts”. As “citoyens”, well-informed and dutiful citizens trying to actively participate in forming our community, we possess what in the age of enlightenment came to be called “lumen naturale”: We are endowed with a natural reasoning faculty that allows us to engage in debates and decisions about matters which directly affect us. We can therefore adequately discuss the essential core of the ways in which grave violations of law and morality are hidden from our awareness without having some specialist education.”(Mausfeld, 2015)
Despite the clear words of these very influential and prominent personalities (i.e., Bernays and Lippmann) some social psychologists argue that “irrational conspiracy theories” are based on fallacious and “illusionary pattern perception” – but see article below.
By contrast, compare the following websites for more information on the actual origin of the “conspiracy theory meme”. According to the in-depth analyses of these scholars, governmental ‘think tanks’ (e.g., well-paid social psychologists) played a crucial role in the invention of the term “conspiracy theory” which is used to prima facie discredit those who challenge the mainstream narrative propagandized by the mass-media and other other social institutions (e.g., schools & universities). The social sciences & humanities have a long well-documented history of contributing to the systematic manipulation of public attitudes & opinions (the public relations industry and the social sciences/humanities are obviously deeply intertwined) (cf. weaponized anthropology). Today, the cognitive neurosciences joined the choir (cf. techniques of neuro-marketing). Psychology (and science in general) is a two-sided sword. It can be used to contribute to the unfoldment of human potential (the humanistic perspective which emphasises liberty and self-actualisation a la Maslow) or the same methods can be used to manipulate and control people (the neoliberal doctrine a la Bernays which focuses on power and submission to authority). It is self-evident on which side of the bipolar continuum (viz., humanism versus neoliberalism) humanity finds itself at the moment…