Study Questions for Lakoff and Johnson,
Philosophy in the Flesh, Part II

Study Questions by Dr. Jan Garrett

Last revised March 16, 2007

The numbers associated with the questions refer to pages in LJ, unless otherwise indicated. "LJ" refers to Lakoff and Johnson, the authors, or to the book, which they jointly authored.

Chapter 10. Time

6. How do we measure time? (137-38)

7. If we cannot observe time, how can we define it? Why is time directional and irreversible? continuous? segmentable? measurable? (138)

8. Upon what does our experience of time depend? Why does experience not always precede conceptualization? (139)

9. Of what is most of our understanding of time a metaphorical version? (139)

10. Explain the Time Orientation Metaphor. (140)

11. What two additional metaphors for time are typically combined with the Time Orientation Metaphor? To what spatial schema does the Moving Time metaphor apply? (141)

12. Explain some of the linguistic examples of the Moving Time metaphor, e.g., "The time will come when there are no more typewriters," "I can see the face of things to come," "In the following weeks there will be no more vacations."

13. What gestural evidence might we seek for the Time Orientation metaphor? (144)

14. Explain the Time-Substance variation of the Moving Time metaphor.

15. Describe the second major metaphor for time. (145-46) How does this explain expressions like "There's going to be trouble down the road," "We're coming up on Christmas," "We passed the deadline," "We're halfway through March already."

16. Why do LJ say that the two major metaphors for time are inconsistent with one another? Why is the sentence "Let's move the meeting ahead a week" ambiguous? (148)

17. Why do the major metaphors for time exhibit what LJ call duality? (149)

18. What makes novel metaphors like the four given on p. 149 possible?

19. Why do we have the major metaphors for time, and why do these seem to occur in different languages around the world? (151-53)

20. Why do we experience events as occurring in time or at times? (153)

21. What's wrong with the commonsense philosophical argument considered at the top of p. 154? What "moral" do LJ draw from their response to this argument?

22. How does the "analog clock" make use of the moving observer metaphor for time? How do digital clocks make use of time metaphors? Calendars? Cartesian coordinates in which time is the x-axis? (155)

23. Do the examples being discussed show that time is metaphysically or epistemologically more basic than events?? Explain.

24. What two things (philosophical habits?) lead to philosophical errors? (156, repeated on 158)

25. What was Augustine's answer regarding the question regarding existence of past, present, and future time? How might cognitive science echo, with modification, Augustine's answer? (157)

25. How does cognitive science respond to Zeno's paradox of the arrow? Where does the appearance of paradox come from? (157-58)

26. What, according to LJ, do Zeno's and Augustine's observations, reveal? (158)

27. What error arises from the "substance version of the Moving Time metaphor? (158-59)

28. Are scientific theories, like Einstein's theory of general relativity, metaphorical? Explain. Does that make them false or merely subjective? Explain. (160)

29. Can we eliminate all metaphor and still understand time? (161)

30. Explain how the Time as Resource metaphor produces common sayings such as those listed on p. 161? Is Time as Resource as simple, primary metaphor or a complex metaphor? Explain. What is the relationship of the Time as Money metaphor to the Time as Resource metaphor? (163-64)

31. What do LJ mean when they say that metaphorical statements can be true? (164)

32. What do LJ seem to mean when they say that institutions reify metaphors? (164) See also what they say about the gist of Robert Half's description of "employee crime" on p. 166, referring to the article on p. 165.

33. Do all cultures have institutions that reify, or even conceptualize, the metaphor of Time as a Resource? (164) What is "part of Westernization" (globalization?) according to LJ? What do cross-cultural studies remind us about time? (165)

34. LJ reject the "classic ontological question: Does time exist independently of minds, and if so, what are its properties?" Why?

35. Where do the literal aspects of time come from? What two cognitive processes construct our concept of time? (167-68)

36. How do LJ argue that our concept of time is not arbitrary or merely cultural? (168)

37. How do LJ respond to the proposal that we form an artificial logical language that eliminates all metaphor and characterizes time literally? (168)