A Final Word

James W. Underhill

in Creating Worldviews

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748643158
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651566 | DOI:
A Final Word

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This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. The three case studies confirm that metaphor is fundamental to conceptual thought. The conceptual patterning of our languages depends to a significant degree upon metaphoric paths which we follow, resist, or refuse, as we strive to break out into alternative, original modes of thinking. The study of language showed that not only is language itself inescapable, all of our attempts to define language and to compare languages or to explain their relations to other linguistic communities must necessarily be formulated in metaphoric terms. A language is seen either as an invading force, a colonising power, or as a source of animation and inspiration in the ‘cross-fertilisation’ of cultural exchange. Linguistic philosophies cannot evade this inevitable propensity towards metaphoric representation, no matter what model is adopted or adapted. Language and metaphor may be inescapable, but what all writers and politically engaged individuals believe is a simple premise, namely that we can make a difference. Though worldviews are inescapable, worldviews are not imposed upon us by inhuman forces.

Keywords: metaphor; languages; worldviews; conceptual thought

Chapter.  1783 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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