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A list of key readings about Metaphor.
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  • Lakoff G, Johnson M. (2003,1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. New paperback printing with 2003 Afterword by authors. ISBN 0226468011.
    • From the publisher's synopsis: Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by"-metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them....In this updated (2003) edition...the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.
    • Author Biographies by Publisher: George Lakoff is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of, among other books, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things and Moral Politics, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Mark Johnson is the Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Body in the Mind and Moral Imagination, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Johnson and Lakoff have also coauthored Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought.
  • Brigitte Nerlich and David D. Clarke. (2001) Mind, meaning and metaphor: the philosophy and psychology of metaphor in 19th-century Germany. History of the Human Sciences 14:39-61.
    • From Abstract: This article explores a German philosophy of metaphor, which proposed a close link between the body and the mind as the basis for metaphor, debunked the view that metaphor is just a decorative rhetorical device and questioned the distinction between the literal and the figurative….thinkers contributed to a philosophy and psychology of the metaphoric according to which metaphors are not only nice, but necessary for the structure and growth of human thought and language. Obvious parallels between this 19th-century philosophy of metaphor and the 20th-century theory of metaphor developed by Lakoff and his followers.
  • Lakoff G. (1993) The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.
    • Excerpt: The generalizations governing poetic metaphorical expressions are not in language, but in thought: They are general map pings across conceptual domains. Moreover, these general principles which take the form of conceptual mappings, apply not just to novel poetic expressions, but to much of ordinary everyday language. In short, the locus of metaphor is not in language at all, but in the way we conceptualize one mental domain in terms of another.