Book Review

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 is money” finds . . .

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Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.

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