From the April, 2005 issue of Touchstone
Reality . . . What a Concept! by Peter J. Leithart

Reality . . . What a Concept!

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

University of Chicago Press, 2003
(256 pages; $14.00, paperback)

reviewed by Peter J. Leithart

For many moderns, metaphor is an ornament to “truth” that can easily be dispensed with. George Lakoff, a linguist from Berkeley, and Mark Johnson, Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon, beg to differ.

In Metaphors We Live By, an update of their 1980 volume of the same name, they argue that metaphors are not only fundamental to language but fundamental to thinking and acting. For instance, the metaphor “time . . .


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