Metaphor and Mechanism

In any scientific field, researchers construct theoretical models of the phenomenon under consideration. Often, these models employ some sort of metaphor to ground the phenomenon in more familiar language. For example, biologists sometimes describe the immune system in terms of lock-and-key dynamics, cells in terms of factories, and DNA in terms of a language (Brown, … Continue reading Metaphor and Mechanism

Language, Metaphor, and the Brain

Human language is a strange phenomenon. Somehow, we’re able to convey complex ideas through a fuzzy communicative channel. Even disregarding the remarkable machinery involved in transforming sound waves into neural signals, how does meaning emerge from those signals? And how do we talk about abstract concepts like “Justice”, “Truth”, or even “Concepts” themselves? In recent … Continue reading Language, Metaphor, and the Brain