September 30, 2012

Borrowing Experiences Always

This week I connected to Metaphors We Live By because I agree with the concept that we all live our lives throughout metaphors due to the fact that it’s how we’re able to connect with people and events in our life. We base everything off of comparison with other things so that they will be able to make sense more clearly in our mind. We compare these new events to old memories we have to see how we can make sense of them. In the lines “The normal way for us to talk about attacking a position is to use the words "attack a position." Our conventional ways of talking about arguments presuppose a metaphor we are hardly ever conscious of. The metaphors not merely in the words we use--it is in our very concept of an argument. The language of argument is not poetic, fanciful, or rhetorical; it is literal.

We talk about arguments that way because we conceive of them that way--and we act according to the way we conceive of things” were fascinating because we use symbols, anecdotes and other forms of comparing every single day subconsciously. This made me wonder how we’re able to successfully understand something completely foreign to us. Would we be able to process it or would it just not stick. This also referred me back to the idea that nothing is original.  Barthes discusses in “Death of an Author” that no idea is completely original because people borrow from all around them. This connected to this week’s reading because in order to make sense of ideas we have to borrow other experiences so we are always being influenced by other experiences. Always. 


lmariachami said...

Metaphors are concepts that we come up with through observations. Lakoff and Johnson state, "The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another." We are able to create metaphors through our experiences, and shared ones. We do use symbols to create and identify these metaphors. I think we are able to understand something completely foreign to us through examples and symbols that we can somewhat connect with. If we are able to connect something completely new and different with something we knew in our past, it also creates a new symbol. Which leads to your observation of Barthe's theory. In a way, nothing is every original if we really look into it. An idea always stems from something else.

Huong Le said...

^Sorry, that was a test post because I wasn't sure I was logged in.

I'm not sure that we can use metaphors to understand something completely foreign to us. I think we can only understand as much of a metaphor as we have experience with, and even if we try to construct understanding out of other metaphors, it won't be the same thing.

I like to describe the act of eating an oyster as being like kissing a mermaid. My version of mermaids is the Pirates-of-the-Caribbean I'm-going-to-eat-you type, so if I heard someone say that to me and I didn't know what an oyster tasted like, I would definitely be giving them strange looks. And I've seen newbies eat them and react like they were the most horrible things on Earth, so the kissing a mermaid metaphor doesn't work for everybody. As Locke says, words are arbitrary and ideas are not universal. A person is going to react differently to a metaphor depending on their prior experiences, so it isn't always possible to teach a new experience just through words.

michelle reyes said...

I definitely agree with you one hundred percent on your post. I also loved that you made the connection between the previous reading and this one. Barthes discusses in “Death of an Author” that no idea is completely original because people borrow from all around them. I wish i would have read this before I wrote my response because it would have given me a little bit more ammunition for my post. But like you I believe that comparison is natural for us as people and society. It really helps relate what we are trying to communicate to one another. I feel as though metaphors may have nothing to do with what you may possibly be discussing it helps you pin point a distinct feeling or idea you are attempting to get across. making your discourse more relevant or important to the person you are carrying the conversation with.

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