• In philosophy, metaphorical pluralism is the norm. Our most important abstract philosophical concepts, including time, causation, morality, and the mind, are all conceptualized by multiple metaphors, sometimes as many as two dozen. What each philosophical theory typically does is to choose one of those metaphors as "right," as the true literal meaning of the concept. One reason there is so much argumentation across philosophical theories is that different philosophers have chosen different metaphors as the "right" one, ignoring or taking as misleading all other commonplace metaphorical structurings of the concept. Philosophers have done this because they assume that a concept must have one and only one logic. But the cognitive reality is that our concepts have multiple metaphorical structurings

    George Lakoff
  • Cognitive science has something of enormous importance to contribute to human freedom: the ability to learn what our unconscious conceptual systems are like and how our cognitive unconscious functions. If we do not realize that most of our thought is unconscious and that we think metaphorically, we will indeed be slaves to the cognitive unconscious. Paradoxically, the assumption that we have a radically autonomous rationality as traditionally conceived actually limits our rational autonomy. It condemns us to cognitive slavery - to an unaware and uncritical dependence on our unconscious metaphors. To maximize what conceptual freedom we can have, we must be able to see through and move beyond philosophies that deny the existence of an embodied cognitive unconscious that governs most of our mental lives

    George Lakoff
  • In short, philosophical theories are largely the product of the hidden hand of the cognitive unconscious

    George Lakoff
  • In asking philosophical questions, we use a reason shaped by the body, a cognitive unconscious to which we have no direct access, and metaphorical thought of which we are largely unaware. The fact that abstract thought is mostly metaphorical means that answers to philosophical questions have always been, and always will be, mostly metaphorical. In itself, that is neither good nor bad. It is simply a fact about the capacities of the human mind. But it has major consequences for every aspect of philosophy. Metaphorical thought is the principal tool that makes philosophical insight possible and that constrains the forms that philosophy can take

    George Lakoff
  • The mechanism by which spirituality becomes passionate is metaphor. An ineffable God requires metaphor not only to be imagined but to be approached, exhorted, evaded, confronted, struggled with, and loved. Through metaphor, the vividness, intensity, and meaningfulness of ordinary experiences becomes the basis of a passionate spirituality. An ineffable God becomes vital through metaphor: The Supreme Being. The Prime Mover. The Creator. The Almighty. The Father. The King of Kings. Shepherd. Potter. Lawgiver. Judge. Mother. Lover. Breath. The vehicle by which we are moved in passionate spirituality is metaphor. The mechanism of such metaphor is bodily. It is a neural mechanism that recruits our abilities to perceive, to move, to feel, and to envision in the service not only of theoretical and philosophical thought, but of spiritual experience

    George Lakoff
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