In the Balance: Weighing Up Conceptual Culture

Turner, Joan. 2008. In the Balance: Weighing Up Conceptual Culture. In: Erich A. Berendt, ed. Metaphors for Learning: Cross-cultural Perspectives. (22) John Benjamins, pp. 13-28. ISBN 978 90 272 9160 8 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter looks at the cognitive structuring of rationality as evidenced by conventional metaphors relating to balance and weight. The evaluative nature of these metaphors, positive in the rational domain, but negative in relation to the emotions and the imagination, is related to the privileged domain of rationality in the western cultural context, and elaborated within what is called a 'rhetorical law of gravity': This dominant structuring is viewed both as helpful in the academic context of understanding the need for critical appraisal and as 'critical' in relation to contemporary theorising, where conceptual frameworks being used are not so spatially regulated, and new value systems are emerging, which might in time, change our implicit understanding of what counts as rational.

Item Type:

Book Section


Metaphors, Cognitive Processes, Language Culture, Relationship, Cultural Background, Concept Formation, Emotions, Semantic Fields, Rhetoric, Context

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies



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Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2010 12:44

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2017 10:59


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