Words, images, color combinations all evoke schemas

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by coberst, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. coberst Registered Senior Member

    Words, images, color combinations all evoke schemas

    Words have meaning for us only within a context that is meaningful. At some time in my life plants have become meaningful to me and thus the word “bloom” evokes that meaning; likewise “traveler” with journey and “ashes” with fire.

    “Because words can evoke schemas, and metaphors map schemas into other schemas, words can prompt a metaphorical understanding.”

    Poets use metaphor to convey meaning. Cognitive scientists study metaphor to comprehend the hidden aspects of the human mind. To understand poetic metaphor one must understand conventional metaphor. To study metaphor is to discover that “one has a worldview, that one’s imagination is constrained, and that metaphor plays an enormous role in shaping one’s everyday understand of everyday events.”

    As creatures we perceive our self as a container having an interior and exterior with a boundary between. We experience our bodies as structured wholes with identifiable parts. We move about in space to achieve our needs and desires; sometimes our path is obstructed by objects that we try to eliminate or move around.

    “Each of these quite basic interactions with the world is generalizable, and each is in fact generalized across a series of other domains. Each of these generalizations is a recurring structure or repeatable pattern by which we are able to understand the world as a unified place that we can make a sense of.”

    Because I could not stop for Death—
    He kindly stopped for me—
    The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
    And Immortality—Emily Dickinson

    Without metaphors for death we could not comprehend this poem easily. Why do we know so many metaphors for death? Winter and other authors inform me that we have metaphors because without them we could not comprehend our world.

    Quotes from “A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind” by Steven L. Winter

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