J SP III East Tennessee University Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999. Pp. xiv + 624. $20.00 pbk. 0-465-05674-1 In answer to a friend's query about my current pursuits, I hoisted Lakoff and Johnson's six-hundred-page magnum opus into his hands. "Reviewing this." Thoughtfully weighing the imposing book in one palm, he pronounced: "Philosophy in the Flesh? It needs to go on a diet!" I laughingly agreed, then in good philosopher's form analyzed his joke. He had conceived the book metaphorically as a person, as when we speak of books "inspiring" us or being "great company" and even as being "fat" or "thin." His cleverness lay in perceiving a novel entailment of this metaphor: just as an overweight person may need to diet, a long book may need to be shortened. In addition, he used a conventional metaphor in which means (to ends) are conceived as paths (to destinations), thus one may "go on" a diet for the purpose of losing weight as one goes on a path toward a destination. All in the spirit of Lakoff and Johnson. "The question
The Journal of Speculative Philosophy – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 5, 2001
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