Contagious metaphor by Peta Mitchell

By Peta Mitchell

The metaphor of contagion pervades severe discourse around the humanities, the scientific sciences, and the social sciences. it seems that in such phrases as 'social contagion' in psychology, 'financial contagion' in economics, 'viral advertising' in company, or even 'cultural contagion' in anthropology. within the twenty-first century, contagion, or 'thought contagion' has turn into a byword for creativity and a primary approach in which wisdom and ideas are communicated and brought up, and resonates with André Siegfried's statement that 'there is a notable parallel among the spreading of germs and the spreading of ideas'.

In Contagious Metaphor, Peta Mitchell bargains an cutting edge, interdisciplinary research of the metaphor of contagion and its courting to the workings of language. studying either metaphors of contagion and metaphor as contagion, Contagious Metaphor indicates a framework in which the emergence and infrequently epidemic-like copy of metaphor may be higher understood.

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I would argue, however, that Turner is only able to do this – to reduce ‘language is a virus’ so readily to a preconceived pattern – because he dismisses Contagious Metaphor 27 any further social, historical or cultural contexts that might have shaped the metaphor and its possible interpretation.  . irrelevant, except to the extent that the scientific conception has influenced our ­commonplace conception or conversely’ (1992, p. 735). Medical history has demonstrated just how connected to one another medical and sociocultural conceptions of epidemiology and contagious disease are, and how these con­ ceptions have (and, in some respects, have not) changed over time.

216). In this sense, the target domain must interact or communicate to some degree with the source domain, but its interaction is circumscribed, within CMT, by a strict unidirectional framework. Subsequent theories that build upon CMT have attempted to unsettle this rigid unidirectionality. Notably, in Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner’s theory of ‘conceptual blending’ (Fauconnier and Turner 1996, 1998, 2002), the source and target domains (now termed ‘input spaces’) are thought to interact in order to create a new, blended space.

Turner is forced to turn to ‘other principles’ in order to decode it, and so he suggests the ‘GREAT CHAIN [of being]’ metaphor (which he and Lakoff defined in their 1989 book More than Cool Reason)19 might be the underlying metaphor. Yet, he continues, ‘language is a virus’ cannot directly map onto the ‘GREAT CHAIN’, for neither language nor virus, he explains, has a ‘clear place on the Great Chain’ because both the source and the target domains lie outside the basic conceptual metaphor (Turner 1992, p.

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