Show Less
Restricted access

Time, Being and Becoming: Cognitive Models of Innovation and Creation in English


Maciej Litwin

Cognitive linguistics provides tools to discuss identity as a process. Identity depends on the underlying conceptualisation of the present, while innovation and creation are borderline phenomena in epistemology. The two may be seen as generalised accounts of causation as a process: open-ended and closed, where time is conceptualised as real or figurative. Aristotle’s epistemology builds on the conceptualisation of a subject manipulating objects in the visual field. Saint Augustine and Plotinus conceive of time and identity as real and contingent or figurative and necessary. William of Ockham builds on a simple conceptualisation of a time-point matrix as opposed to a duration matrix. British National Corpus findings relate to and comment on these expert philosophical conversations through the medium of cognitive models of «innovation» and «creation», instruments of thought and reason in English.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Summary and Overview


i. Argument summary

The aim of the argument set down below is to define and to discuss the cognitive models of ‘innovation’ and ‘creation’ in English as the vehicles of conceptualisation of coming into existence (identity). The models are isolated based on their different construal of time within the Cognitive Model of the Present (Evans 2004).

The concept of identity in the 20th century was mapped onto the conceptual structure of set theory in the form of entity. Such a notion of identity was challenged by cognitive linguists on the ground that human conceptualisation is embodied and perforce metaphorical (Lakoff & Johnson 1980, Lakoff 1987, Fauconnier 1994). Cognitive linguistics offered an alternative practical account of identity building on the correlation between conceptualisations (mental phenomenon) and brain activity (identity as a meaning network). This notion of identity is the corner stone of epistemology in cognitive linguistics (Lakoff & Johnson 1999, Fauconnier & Turner 2002). Both the formalist identity and its discursive counterpart advanced by cognitive linguistics’ critique are substantive concepts concordant with nominalist ontology.

Meanwhile, nominalism as a philosophical position originates from the practice of existential contingency in concept elaboration. Questioning the substantive dimension of conceptualisations, the practice of nominalist philosophy epitomises the process dimension of identity and it rests on counterfactual thought. Major philosophical contentions in the Western tradition testify to the distinction between an inventory and a process interpretation of philosophical concepts in intellectual speculation. This underscores the determining role of...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.