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Metaphor and its Moorings

Studies in the grounding of metaphorical meaning

M. Elaine Botha

Human knowledge and language reflect the ‘metaphorical’ nature of the human experiential and conceptual system. The author shows that metaphor and its underlying analogical structure are significant keys to the understanding of the metaphorical nature of reality and cognition and provide a better understanding of the relationship between science and religion.
This study builds critically on the insights of Lakoff and Johnson by introducing a new angle to the discussions concerning conceptual metaphor and its basis in human embodiment. In her proposed alternative to the traditional view of knowledge the author argues that the distinction between literal and metaphorical language ought to be revisited and replaced with a view in which the idea of proper analogy and necessary metaphors are acknowledged. The insights gained in this respect are also applied to the changing views concerning theory and observation in scientific theorizing. A case study on the relationship between religion and science in the work of Michael Faraday illustrates that scientific observation is impregnated with theoretical convictions and that metaphors play a decisive role in the models developed to understand reality.
Contents: The Knowledge of our Body and the Body of our Knowledge – Solid Ground: The Weight of Grounding Hypotheses – Metaphors as Keys to the World and the World as Key to Metaphor – Metaphors as Keys to Science – Embodiment and the Fiduciary Dimension of Reality – Possible Worlds: The Mediating Role of Metaphor Between Religion, Metaphysics and Science – Theory-constitutive Metaphors in Science – Religion, Metaphysics and Science in Michael Faraday’s Work – Clusters, Roots and Hierarchies of Metaphors in Scripture and the Quest for Christian Scholarship – Metaphorical Models and Scientific Realism – Embodiment and the Grammar of Creation.