metaphors-we-live-by-book-summary-george-lakoff

Metaphors We Live By Book Summary – George Lakoff

Summarising book….

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What you will learn from reading Metaphors we Live By:

– The role metaphors play in cognition and everyday life.

– How metaphors hide certain aspects of concepts and highlight others.

– The metaphors we live by and why they are important.

Metaphors We Live By Book Summary

Metaphors We Live By Book Summary is an in-depth summary on the topic of metaphors. Before we read Metaphors to Live by we had no idea how powerful and pervasive metaphors are in everyday life. To say that this book will change the way you see the world is an understatement.

Take this summary slow, it’s an absolute beast but the content is profound. If you’re interested to understand how words shape your world then you’ll love this.

 

Aristotle:But the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor” (Poetics 1459a); “ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh” (Rhetoric 1410b). 

 

Introduction to Metaphors

Metaphor is principally a way of conceiving of one thing in terms of another, and its primary function is understanding.

Most of our indirect understanding involves understanding one kind of entity or experience in terms of another kind—that is, understanding via metaphor.

Metaphor is one of our most important tools for trying to comprehend partially what cannot be comprehended totally: our feelings, aesthetic experiences, moral practices, and spiritual awareness.

We draw inferences, set goals, make commitments, and execute plans, all on the basis of how we in part structure our experience, consciously and unconsciously, by means of metaphor.

Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. 

Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities. If we are right in suggesting that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and what we do every day is very much a matter of metaphor. 

Metaphor plays an essential role in characterising the structure of our experiences.

Metaphor pervades our normal conceptual system. Because so many of the concepts that are important to us are either abstract or not clearly delineated in our experience (the emotions, ideas, time, etc.), we need to get a grasp on them by means of other concepts that we understand in clearer terms (spatial orientations, objects, etc.).

 

Metaphors reveal and hide parts of reality: 

Think about the different feelings you feel if I told you this ‘argument’ is structured in terms of battle or structured in terms of dance. We talk about arguments that way because we conceive of them that way—and we act according to the way we conceive of things. 

The very systematicity that allows us to comprehend one aspect of a concept in terms of another (e.g., comprehending an aspect of arguing in terms of battle) will necessarily hide other aspects of the concept.

It is by means of conceptualising our experiences in this manner that we pick out the “important” aspects of an experience. And by picking out what is “important” in the experience, we can categorise the experience, understand it, and remember it.

When you conceptualise an argument as a battle the importance lies in who’s winning or losing, who has the upped hand etc.. But if you structure it in terms of a dance the importance is now on how the counterparts work together.

Argument as War – The concept is metaphorically structured, the activity is metaphorically structured, and, consequently, the language is metaphorically structured. 

Metaphors as linguistic expressions are possible precisely because there are metaphors in a person’s conceptual system. Therefore, whenever in this book we speak of metaphors, such as ARGUMENT IS WAR, it should be understood that metaphor means metaphorical concept. 

 

Orientational Metaphors:

Most of our fundamental concepts are organised in terms of one or more spatialisation metaphors.

Example:

RATIONAL IS UP; EMOTIONAL IS DOWN — The discussion fell to the emotional level, but I raised it back up to the rational plane. We put our feelings aside and had a high-level intellectual discussion of the matter. He couldn’t rise above his emotions. 

There is an internal systematicity to each spatialization metaphor. For example, HAPPY IS UP defines a coherent system rather than a number of isolated and random cases. (An example of an incoherent system would be one where, say, “I’m feeling up” meant “I’m feeling happy,” but “My spirits rose” meant “I became sadder.”) 

The most fundamental values in a culture will be coherent with the metaphorical structure of the most fundamental concepts in the culture. Individuals, like groups, vary in their priorities and in the ways they define what is good or virtuous to them. In this sense, they are subgroups of one. Relative to what is important for them, their individual value systems are coherent with the major orientational metaphors of the mainstream culture. 

There was a time (before inflation and the energy crisis) when owning a small car had a high status within the subculture where VIRTUE IS UP and SAVING RESOURCES IS VIRTUOUS took priority over BIGGER IS BETTER.  

In other words, the structure of our spatial concepts emerges from our constant spatial experience, that is, our interaction with the physical environment. Concepts that emerge in this way are concepts that we live by in the most fundamental way.

 

Ideas, concepts become substances that can be measured:

The concepts OBJECT, SUBSTANCE, and CONTAINER emerge directly. We experience ourselves as entities, separate from the rest of the world—as containers with an inside and an outside. We also experience things external to us as entities—often also as containers with insides and outsides.

The speaker puts ideas (objects) into words (containers) and sends them (along a conduit) to a hearer who takes the idea/objects out of the word/containers.

Once we can identify our experiences as entities or substances, we can refer to them, categorise them, group them, and quantify them—and, by this means, reason about them. Once we have a label we can then address the labelled item by itself. 

Human purposes typically require us to impose artificial boundaries that make physical phenomena discrete just as we are: entities bounded by a surface. 

Harry is in the kitchen. Harry is in the Elks. Harry is in love. The sentences refer to three different domains of experience: spatial, social, and emotional.

 

How we use Metaphors:

Referring: My fear of insects is driving my wife crazy. That was a beautiful catch. We are working toward peace. 

Quantifying: It will take a lot of patience to finish this book. There is so much hatred in the world. DuPont has a lot of political power in Delaware. 

Identifying Aspects: The ugly side of his personality comes out under pressure. The brutality of war dehumanizes us all. I can’t keep up with the pace of modern life. 

Identifying Causes: The pressure of his responsibilities caused his breakdown. He did it out of anger. 

Setting Goals and Motivating Actions: He went to New York to seek fame and fortune. Here’s what you have to do to insure financial security. 

 

Examples of Ontological Metaphors:

THE MIND IS A MACHINE: We’re still trying to grind out the solution to this equation. My mind just isn’t operating today. 

THE MIND IS A BRITTLE OBJECT: Her ego is very fragile. You have to handle him with care since his wife’s death. 

These metaphors specify different kinds of objects. They give us different metaphorical models for what the mind is and thereby allow us to focus on different aspects of mental experience. 

Ontological metaphors like these are so natural and so pervasive in our thought that they are usually taken as self-evident, direct descriptions of mental phenomena. 

The reason is that metaphors like THE MIND IS A BRITTLE OBJECT are an integral part of the model of the mind that we have in this culture; it is the model most of us think and operate in terms of. 

 

We place boundaries on things that have no boundaries (we create containers):

There are few human instincts more basic than territoriality. And such defining of a territory, putting a boundary around it, is an act of quantification. 

Containers can be viewed as defining a limited space (with a bounding surface, a center, and a periphery) and as holding a substance (which may vary in amount, and which may have a core located in the center).

Examples:

Bath tubs and Water in the bath tub: Both the tub and the water are viewed as containers, but of different sorts. The tub is a CONTAINER OBJECT, while the water is a CONTAINER SUBSTANCE. 

Events become bounded continuers (usually using time): Are you in the race on Sunday? (race as CONTAINER OBJECT) Are you going to the race? (race as OBJECT) Did you see the race? (race as OBJECT) The finish of the race was really exciting. (finish as EVENT OBJECT within CONTAINER OBJECT) 

Events and actions are correlated with bounded time spans, and this makes them CONTAINER OBJECTS.

Activities in general are viewed metaphorically as SUBSTANCES and therefore as CONTAINERS: In washing the window, I splashed water all over the floor. 

 

We use boundaries for mental states:

Various kinds of states may also be conceptualized as containers. Thus we have examples like these: He’s in love. We’re out of trouble now. He’s coming out of the coma.

What Lakoff is claiming about grounding is that we typically conceptualise the nonphysical in terms of the physical—that is, we conceptualise the less clearly delineated in terms of the more clearly delineated. 

 

The Power of Metaphorical Framing: (Inflation Example)

Inflation has attacked the foundation of our economy. Inflation has pinned us to the wall. Our biggest enemy right now is inflation. 

Here inflation is personified, but the metaphor is not merely INFLATION IS A PERSON. It is much more specific, namely, INFLATION IS AN ADVERSARY.  

It only gives us a very specific way of thinking about inflation but also a way of acting toward it. We think of inflation as an adversary that can attack us, hurt us, steal from us, even destroy us. This gives us a clear call to action and influencing what our enemy is. Which gives rise to justification for policies 

Ontological metaphors allow us to make sense of phenomena in the world in human terms—terms that we can understand on the basis of our own motivations, goals, actions, and characteristics. When we are suffering substantial economic losses due to complex economic and political factors that no one really understands, the INFLATION IS AN ADVERSARY metaphor at least gives us a coherent account of why we’re suffering these losses. 

 

Metonymy, using parts to symbolise the whole:

In the case of the metonymy THE PART FOR THE WHOLE there are many parts that can stand for the whole. Which part we pick out determines which aspect of the whole we are focusing on. 

Metonymic concepts emerge from correlations in our experience between two physical entities (e.g., PART FOR WHOLE, OBJECT FOR USER) or between a physical entity and something metaphorically conceptualised as a physical entity (e.g., THE PLACE FOR THE EVENT):

THE FACE FOR THE PERSON: For example: She’s just a pretty face. There are an awful lot of faces out there in the audience. We need some new faces around here. 

PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT: I’ll have a Löwenbräu. He bought a Ford. He’s got a Picasso in his den. I hate to read Heidegger. 

OBJECT USED FOR USER: The sax has the flu today. The BLT is a lousy tipper. 

CONTROLLER FOR CONTROLLED: Nixon bombed Hanoi. Ozawa gave a terrible concert last night. Napoleon lost at Waterloo. 

INSTITUTION FOR PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE: Exxon has raised its prices again. You’ll never get the university to agree to that. 

THE PLACE FOR THE INSTITUTION: The White House isn’t saying anything. 

THE PLACE FOR THE EVENT: Let’s not let Thailand become another Vietnam. Remember the Alamo. 

 

The Coherence of Metaphors:

There is a difference between metaphors that are coherent (that is, “fit together”) with each other and those that are consistent. Lakoff has found that the connections between metaphors are more likely to involve coherence than consistency. 

Now, time in English is structured in terms of the TIME IS A MOVING OBJECT metaphor, with the future moving toward us: The time will come when . . . The time has long since gone when . . . The time for action has arrived. 

Thus, time flies, time creeps along, time speeds by. In general, metaphorical concepts are defined not in terms of concrete images (flying, creeping, going down the road, etc.), but in terms of more general categories, like passing. 

Examples:

THEORIES (and ARGUMENTS) ARE BUILDINGS:

Is that the foundation for your theory? The theory needs more support. The argument is shaky. We need some more facts or the argument will fall apart. We need to construct a strong argument for that. 

IDEAS ARE PEOPLE: 

The theory of relativity gave birth to an enormous number of ideas in physics. He is the father of modern biology. Whose brainchild was that? Look at what his ideas have spawned. 

UNDERSTANDING IS SEEING; IDEAS ARE LIGHT-SOURCES:

I see what you’re saying. It looks different from my point of view. What is your outlook on that? I view it differently. Now I’ve got the whole picture. Let me point something out to you. 

 

Metaphors add specifics to the abstract:

MIND IS A MACHINE metaphor and the various personification metaphors, we can elaborate spatialisation metaphors in much more specific terms. Allows us not only to elaborate a concept (like the MIND) in considerable detail but also to find appropriate means for highlighting some aspects of it and hiding others. 

RATIONAL ARGUMENT IS WAR metaphor might be grounded. This metaphor allows us to conceptualise what a rational argument is in terms of something that we understand more readily, namely, physical conflict. 

This is an example of what it means for a metaphorical concept, namely, ARGUMENT IS WAR, to structure (at least in part) what we do and how we understand what we are doing when we argue. So, the concepts primary role is to structure and guide our reality.

Take a domestic quarrel, for instance. Husband and wife are both trying to get what each of them wants, such as getting the other to accept a certain viewpoint on some issue or at least to act according to that viewpoint. The metaphorical concept of a WAR vs a Dance would drastically change the actions that this couple would take. 

These examples show that the metaphorical concepts provide us with a partial understanding of what communication, argument is and in doing this, they hide other aspects of these concepts.

 

The many ways to persuade:

. . because I’m bigger than you. (intimidation)  

. . . because if you don’t, I’ll . . . (threat)  

. . . because I’m the boss. (authority) . 

 . . because you’re stupid. (insult)  

. . . because you usually do it wrong. (belittling)  

. . . because I have as much right as you do. (challenging authority)  

. . . because I love you. (evading the issue)  

. . . because if you will . . . , I’ll . . . (bargaining)  

. . . because you’re so much better at it. (flattery) 

More ‘rational’ argument that deploys same tactics:

It is plausible to assume that . . . (intimidation) 

Clearly, . . . Obviously, . . . It would be unscientific to fail to . . . (threat) 

To say that would be to commit the Fallacy of . . . As Descartes showed, . . . (authority) Hume observed that .

The work lacks the necessary rigor for . . . (insult) 

Let us call such a theory “Narrow” Rationalism. In a display of “scholarly objectivity,” . . . The work will not lead to a formalized theory. (belittling)  

Here you can see the ideal of RATIONAL ARGUMENT conceived of in terms of WAR, but almost all of them contain, in hidden form, the “irrational” and “unfair” tactics that rational arguments in their ideal form are supposed to transcend. 

 

Metaphors We Live By:

LABOR IS A RESOURCE uses AN ACTIVITY IS A SUBSTANCE. TIME IS A RESOURCE uses TIME IS A SUBSTANCE.  

These two SUBSTANCE metaphors permit labor and time to be quantified—that is, measured, conceived of as being progressively “used up,” and assigned monetary values; they also allow us to view time and labor as things that can be “used” for various ends. 

The view of labor as merely a kind of activity, independent of who performs it, how he experiences it, and what it means in his life, hides the issues of whether the work is personally meaningful, satisfying, and humane. 

Time in our culture is a valuable commodity. It is a limited resource that we use to accomplish our goals. Time is also quantifiable and when something is quantifiable it is seen differently.

Corresponding to the fact that we act as if time is a valuable commodity—a limited resource, even money—we conceive of time that way. Thus we understand and experience time as the kind of thing that can be spent, wasted, budgeted, invested wisely or poorly, saved, or squandered. TIME IS MONEY, TIME IS A LIMITED RESOURCE, and TIME IS A VALUABLE COMMODITY are all metaphorical concepts.

They emerged naturally in a culture like ours because what they highlight corresponds so closely to what we experience collectively and what they hide corresponds to so little.

Much of cultural change arises from the introduction of new metaphorical concepts and the loss of old ones. For example, the Westernization of cultures throughout the world is partly a matter of introducing the TIME IS MONEY metaphor into those cultures.

 

How Metaphors emerge:

Directly emergent concepts (like UP-DOWN, IN-OUT, OBJECT, SUBSTANCE, etc.) and emergent metaphorical concepts based on our experience (like THE VISUAL FIELD IS A CONTAINER, AN ACTIVITY IS A CONTAINER, etc.). 

Conceptual metaphors are grounded in correlations within our experience. These experiential correlations may be of two types: experiential cooccurrence and experiential similarity. An example of experiential cooccurrence would be the MORE IS UP metaphor.

An example of experiential similarity is LIFE IS A GAMBLING GAME, where one experiences actions in life as gambles, and the possible consequences of those actions are perceived as winning or losing. Here the metaphor seems to be grounded in experiential similarity.

 

Metaphors work because of their experiential basis:

Spatialisation metaphors are rooted in physical and cultural experience; they are not randomly assigned. A metaphor can serve as a vehicle for understanding a concept only by virtue of its experiential basis. 

In actuality we feel that no metaphor can ever be comprehended or even adequately represented independently of its experiential basis. 

Not all cultures give the priorities we do to up-down orientation. There are cultures where balance or centrality plays a much more important role than it does in our culture.

 

Imaginative Language is exploring a metaphor further:

These sentences fall outside the domain of normal literal language and are part of what is usually called “figurative” or “imaginative” language. Thus, literal expressions (“He has constructed a theory”) and imaginative expressions (“His theory is covered with gargoyles”) can be instances of the same general metaphor (THEORIES ARE BUILDINGS). 

 

Metaphors and Causation:

The concept of CAUSATION is based on the prototype of DIRECT MANIPULATION, which emerges directly from our experience. When we mould clay to create a cup you can say that the cup came out of the clap. This reality guides our metaphors for causation. They are as follows:

The metaphors used are THE OBJECT COMES OUT OF THE SUBSTANCE, THE SUBSTANCE GOES INTO THE OBJECT, CREATION IS BIRTH, and CAUSATION (of event by state) IS EMERGENCE (of the event/object from the state/container).

Examples:

Here the STATE (desperation, loneliness, etc.) is viewed as a container, and the act or event is viewed as an object that emerges from the container. The CAUSATION is viewed as the EMERGENCE of the EVENT from the STATE. 

 

Experiential Gestalts:

Such multidimensional structures characterize experiential gestalts, which are ways of organizing experiences into structured wholes. In the ARGUMENT IS WAR metaphor, the gestalt for CONVERSATION is structured further by means of correspondences with selected elements of the gestalt for WAR. 

Experiential gestalts have structure that is not arbitrary. Instead, the dimensions that characterise the structure of the gestalts emerge naturally from our experience.

Recurrent experience leads to the formation of categories, which are experiential gestalts with those natural dimensions. Such gestalts define coherence in our experience. We understand our experience directly when we see it as being structured coherently in terms of gestalts that have emerged directly from interaction with and in our environment.

We understand experience metaphorically when we use a gestalt from one domain of experience to structure experience in another domain.

 

Structuring Love:

As we will show, LOVE is not a concept that has a clearly delineated structure; whatever structure it has it gets only via metaphors. The different metaphors structure different aspects of love; for example, LOVE IS A JOURNEY, LOVE IS WAR, LOVE IS A PHYSICAL FORCE, LOVE IS MADNESS. Each of these provides one perspective on the concept LOVE and structures one of many aspects of the concept. 

New metaphors are capable of giving us a new understanding of our experience. Thus, they can give new meaning to our pasts, to our daily activity, and to what we know and believe. To see how this is possible, let us consider the new metaphor LOVE IS A COLLABORATIVE WORK OF ART. 

By virtue of the metaphor, the range of highlighted love experiences is seen as similar in structure to the range of experiences of producing a collaborative work of art. It is this structural similarity between the two ranges of experience that allows you to find coherence in the range of highlighted love experiences.

If those things entailed by the metaphor are for us the most important aspects of our love experiences, then the metaphor can acquire the status of a truth; for many people, love is a collaborative work of art.

Conceptualising LOVE as A COLLABORATIVE WORK OF ART brings certain aspects into focus as fitting together into a coherent whole.

Similarities may be similarities with respect to a metaphor. As we saw, the LOVE IS A COLLABORATIVE WORK OF ART metaphor defines a unique kind of similarity. For example, a frustrating love experience may be understood as being similar to a frustrating art experience not merely by virtue of being frustrating but as involving the kind of frustration peculiar to jointly producing works of art

 

Categorisation:

As Rosch (1977) has established, we categorize things in terms of prototypes. A prototypical chair, for us, has a well-defined back, seat, four legs, and (optionally) two armrests. 

Definition is not a matter of giving some fixed set of necessary and sufficient conditions for the application of a concept (though this may be possible in certain special cases, such as in science or other technical disciplines, though even there it is not always possible); instead, concepts are defined by prototypes and by types of relations to prototypes

Interactional properties are prominent among the kinds of properties that count in determining sufficient family resemblance. Chairs share with stools and other kinds of seats the PURPOSIVE property of allowing us to sit. 

Categories are open-ended. Metaphorical definitions can give us a handle on things and experiences we have already categorised, or they may lead to a re-categorisation. 

Concepts are not defined solely in terms of inherent properties; instead, they are defined primarily in terms of interactional properties. 

Take a concept like GUN, as people actually understand it, is at least partly defined by interactional properties having to do with perception, motor activity, purpose, function, etc. Thus we find that our concepts of objects, like our concepts of events and activities, are characterizable as multidimensional gestalts whose dimensions emerge naturally from our experience in the world.

 

Sentence Structure is metaphorical:

I Taught Greek to Harry. 

I taught Harry Greek. 

In the second sentence, where taught and Harry are closer, there is more of a suggestion that Harry actually learned what was taught him—that is, that the teaching had an effect on him. 

We conceptualize sentences metaphorically in spatial terms, with elements of linguistic form bearing spatial properties (like length) and relations (like closeness). Therefore, the spatial metaphors inherent in our conceptual system (like CLOSENESS IS STRENGTH OF EFFECT) will automatically structure relationships between form and content. 

 

New Metaphors:

New metaphors are mostly structural. They can create similarities in the same way as conventional metaphors that are structural.

We would like to suggest that new metaphors make sense of our experience in the same way conventional metaphors do: they provide coherent structure, highlighting some things and hiding others. 

Example:

At present most of us deal with problems according to what we might call the PUZZLE metaphor, in which problems are PUZZLES for which, typically, there is a correct solution—and, once solved, they are solved forever. The PROBLEMS ARE PUZZLES metaphor characterizes our present reality. A shift to a different metaphor would characterise a new reality. 

Creating a new metaphor gets us to try to understand how it could be true, it makes possible a new understanding of our lives. It highlights the fact that that we can look at things differently and not everything has a clear answer.

 

What we highlight guides our reality:

A categorization is a natural way of identifying a kind of object or experience by highlighting certain properties, downplaying others, and hiding still others. 

Each of the dimensions gives the properties that are highlighted. To highlight certain properties is necessary to downplay or hide others, which is what happens whenever we categorise something. Focusing on one set of properties shifts our attention away from others. 

“Light consists of particles” seems to contradict “Light consists of waves,” but both are taken as true by physicists relative to which aspects of light are picked out by different experiments. 

 

Metaphors and Truth:

A statement can be true only relative to some understanding of it.  

Understanding always involves human categorization, which is a function of interactional (rather than inherent) properties and of dimensions that emerge from our experience. 

The truth of a statement is always relative to the properties that are highlighted by the categories used in the statement. (For example, “Light consists of waves” highlights wavelike properties of light and hides particle-like properties.) 

Categories are neither fixed nor uniform. They are defined by prototypes and family resemblances to prototypes and are adjustable in context, given various purposes. 

Given a view of man as separate from his environment, successful functioning is conceived of as mastery over the environment. Hence, the objectivist metaphors KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and SCIENCE PROVIDES CONTROL OVER NATURE.

The Nature of the Experientialist Account of Truth:

We understand a statement as being true in a given situation when our understanding of the statement fits our understanding of the situation closely enough for our purposes. 

People with very different conceptual systems than our own may understand the world in a very different way than we do. Thus, they may have a very different body of truths than we have and even different criteria for truth and reality. 

 

Metaphors are Imaginative Rationality:

Metaphorical imagination is a crucial skill in creating rapport and in communicating the nature of unshared experience. This skill consists, in large measure, of the ability to bend your world view and adjust the way you categorise your experience.

The fear of metaphor and rhetoric in the empiricist tradition is a fear of subjectivism—a fear of emotion and the imagination. Words are viewed as having “proper senses” in terms of which truths can be expressed. To use words metaphorically is to use them in an improper sense, to stir the imagination and thereby the emotions and thus to lead us away from the truth and toward illusion. 

The reason we have focused so much on metaphor is that it unites reason and imagination. Reason, at the very least, involves categorization, entailment, and inference. Imagination, in one of its many aspects, involves seeing one kind of thing in terms of another kind of thing—what we have called metaphorical thought. 

Metaphor is thus imaginative rationality. Since the categories of our everyday thought are largely metaphorical and our everyday reasoning involves metaphorical entailments and inferences, ordinary rationality is therefore imaginative by its very nature. 

What the myths of objectivism and subjectivism both miss is the way we understand the world through our interactions with it. 

Because each individual metaphor is internally consistent, each consistent set of metaphors allows us to comprehend a situation in terms of a well-defined entity structure with consistent relations between the entities. 

And it is comforting—extremely comforting—to have a consistent view of the world, a clear set of expectations and no conflicts about what you should do. Objectivist models have a real appeal—and for the most human of reasons. 

 

The Metaphorical Chameleon:

To operate only in terms of a consistent set of metaphors is to hide many aspects of reality. Successful functioning in our daily lives seems to require a constant shifting of metaphors. The use of many metaphors that are inconsistent with one another seems necessary for us if we are to comprehend the details of our daily existence. 

According to the experientialist, scientific knowledge is still possible. But giving up the claim to absolute truth could make scientific practice more responsible, since there would be a general awareness that a scientific theory may hide as much as it highlights.

Messages don’t have objective value:

It is assumed that the words in the file have meaning in themselves—disembodied, objective, understandable meaning. When a society lives by the CONDUIT metaphor on a large scale, misunderstanding, persecution, and much worse are the likely products. 

 

Self Understanding and Metaphors:

Self-understanding requires unending negotiation and renegotiation of the meaning of your experiences to yourself. In therapy, for example, much of self-understanding involves consciously recognizing previously unconscious metaphors and how we live by them. It involves the constant construction of new coherences in your life, coherences that give new meaning to old experiences. 

The process of self-understanding is the continual development of new life stories for yourself. 

Developing an “experiential flexibility” Engaging in an unending process of viewing your life through new alternative metaphors 

We suggest that The metaphors we live by, whether cultural or personal, are partially preserved in ritual. Cultural metaphors, and the values entailed by them, are propagated by ritual. Ritual forms an indispensable part of the experiential basis for our cultural metaphorical systems.