THE MAJOR METAPHORS OF EUROPEAN THOUGHT: Growth, Game, Language, Drama, Machine, Time and Space

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This work documents the six major European metaphors that constitute Western thought, and examines the theoretical foundations of metaphors and what roles they play in epistemology, history of ideas, and sociology of culture. Will interest scholars in the fields of sociolinguistics, sociology of knowledge, post-structuralism, critical rhetoric of inquiry, and social studies of science.


“By untangling the relationships between objectivistic, metaphoric, and political practices, Robert St. Clair helps us gain insight into the ways in which the true has been fashioned, and could be refashioned anew. . . . St. Clair’s project has the potential to radicalize the methods, the objects, and the very conceptions of the academic enterprise. In particular, his transvaluation of epistemology wrenches us away from our most treasured beliefs about the constitution of science, knowledge, and even reason itself. He does so by leading us to question the traditional foundations of knowledge and scientific inquiry; then he asks us to adopt a linguistically reflexive posture as we are subsequently faced with redefining, metatheoretically, what theory and research are, and should be.” – Richard Harvey Brown

Table of Contents

Table of contents :
Preface by Richard Harvey Brown
1. The Structure of Social Metaphor: Conceptual Explications; Metaphor and Social Reality; Cardinal Metaphors of Western Culture; Rhetoric vs. Dialactics; Humboldtian Linguistics and Cultural Saliency; Metaphorical Structures and Conceptual Space; Figures of Speech as Extrasystemic Communication
2. Metaphor as Epistemology: Human Sciences vs. Natural Sciences; Structural Valuation of Language; Cultural Saliency and the Lexicon; Vocabulary of Motives
3. The Metaphor of Growth: Role of Metaphor in Theory; Aristotelian Cycles of Growth; Parameters of Growth Metaphor; Natural History Language; Natural History of Society; Developmental Linguistics and Metaphor of Growth.
4. The Dramaturgical Metaphor: Presentation of Self; Sociology of Drama; Plays within Plays; Symbolic Interactionism and the Metaphor of the Stage; Sociology of Knowledge; Defining the Situation; Emergence; Role Taking; Those Who are Excluded from the Theater of Life; Character Disorders as Psychological Drama
5. The Game Metaphor: Culture as a Game; Transversal of Culture as Play; Expanded Theory of Games; Wittgenstein on Language Games; Game Metaphor in Counseling; Social Construction of the Sports Culture; Rise of the Play Movement; Business of Re-Creation; Play as Epistemology
6. The Metaphor of Form: Representation of Forms; System of Verbal Forms; Semiotic Structures; Morphology of the Folk Tale; Syntax of the Novel
7. The Machine Metaphor: Mechanization of America; Ancient Engineers; Rise of Crafts in the Middle Ages; L’homme La Machine; Second Wave; Re-enchantment of the World; Information Age; Cybernetics; Digital Machine; Artificial Intelligence; Psychological Machine; Mind as Computer; Grammatical Man; Social Machine; Writing Machine; Machine Metaphor in Philosophy; Operational Model
8. Metaphors of Space and Time: Being and Becoming; From Being to Becoming; Mystical Time; Sacred and Profane Time; Existential Time; Fatalistic Time Track; Science of Time; Spacetime of Relativity; Physics of Time and Space; Biological Time
9. Concluding Remarks: Analogy vs. Metaphor; Systemic Analogies and Componential Metaphors; Overlapping Systems; Structural Change; Cultural Scripts; Linguistic Comprehension and Culture; Officiating Language and Culture; Mainstreaming Cultural Metaphors.
Bibliography; Index

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