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

Study Questions by Dr. Jan Garrett

Last revised March 17, 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 Philosophy in the Flesh, which they jointly authored.

Chapter 12: The Mind

70. Read about the complex Thinking is Moving metaphor. (236) Explain two of the common sentences given in the paragraph on p. 236 following the mapping.

71. Explain the phrase "forced to a conclusion." (236-37) What metaphorical terms do we use to describe the three features of rational thinking? (237) How do we understand communicating and understanding? (237)

72. How does the Thinking Is Moving metaphor make sense out of our notion of final causes (which are important to Aristotle)? (237)

73. Read about the complex Thinking is Perceiving metaphor. (238) Using this metaphor how do we conceptualize trying to gain knowledge? Someone who is ignorant? Enabling people to know something? Directing somebody's attention to something so she can have knowledge of it? The notion of a philosophical, religious, or political perspective or viewpoint? (239)

74. What sense plays the dominant role among Thinking Is Perceiving metaphors? Is it the only one? (239-40)

75. Read about the Thinking Is Object Manipulation metaphor. (240) Using this complex metaphor, what are some specific metaphors for understanding? for communicating? for teaching? for failing to understand? (240) What useful metaphors arise from the fact that objects often have physical structure? (240) Can we combine this complex metaphor with Thinking is Perceiving? Explain. (241)

76. The Acquiring Ideas is Eating metaphor presupposes what metaphorical conception of the healthy mind? How are the right kind of ideas conceptualized using this metaphor? (241) How is an interest in ideas conceptualized? Using these complex metaphors, what are some specific metaphors for ideas that have not been prepared so they can be fully understood? Disturbing ideas or ideas not acceptable for a well-functioning mind? (242)

77. What specific metaphors arise from the general metaphorical mapping of full understanding onto digestion? (242-43) Explain the phrases "spoon-feed them"; "a meaty idea"; "chewing the fat"; "regurgitating ideas on the final exam"; "food for thought" in the light (a different sort of metaphor!) of this section. (243)

78. A homunculus is an imaginary little person. Where does the philosophical idea of the mind as a homunculus come from? How do the four complex metaphors studied in the chapter so far conceptualize ideas? What two crucial aspects of Fregean "senses" (intensions, a type of meaning) do these objects have? (The German philosopher Gottlob Frege was a major influence on the development of Anglo-American analytic philosophy, which dominated English-speaking philosophy in the 20th century.)

79. In the Thought Is Language metaphor, how are simple ideas conceptualized? Complex ideas? Full communication of a thought? Memorization? (244-45)

80. What becomes important in the written language version of this metaphor? How is this metaphor at work in "Do I have to spell it out for you?" and "Follow the letter of the law"? (245) How does this metaphor conceptualize thought? (245-46)

81. In the Thought as Mathematical Calculation metaphor, how is reasoning conceptualized? ideas used in reasoning? inferences (deductions)? explanations? (246) What three important entailments (corollaries?) does this metaphor have? (247)

82. In the Mind As Machine metaphor, how are ideas conceptualized? Thinking? Normal thought? Inability to think? (247)

83. Would we be able to think about ideas and rational thought without these metaphors? (247-48) Are the metaphors consistent? (248) What must a theory of mind or a theory of ideas do? What can be said about each such theory? (248)

84. What important point do LJ make about Anglo-American analytic philosophy? (248-49) How does the Thought as Language metaphor lead analytic philosophy to the conclusion that there is one and only one correct analysis of a complex concept? (250)

85. What does Michael Dummett, in describing Frege's concept of "senses," mean by the "extrusion of thoughts from the mind"? (250) How does this produce the correspondence theory of truth as understood in Anglo-American philosophy of language? (250)

86. The use of what complex metaphors lead to the "linguistic turn" made by analytic philosophy? What metaphors play a key role in creating the emphasis upon mathematical logic so dear to many 20th century Anglo-American philosophers? (251)

87. What basic metaphor for mind was assumed in first-generation cognitive science? (251) What other metaphors does this metaphor combine? (252)

88. What view was accepted by Russell, the early Wittgenstein, and Quine? What did they assume about how meaning was to be characterized? (252-53)

89. How did they differ from the "ordinary language philosophers" like the later Wittgenstein and P. F. Strawson? (253)

90. What three things do LJ mean to show by their brief survey of recent analytic philosophy? (254) How does the view that conceptual metaphor does not exist get generated by the Mind as Body system (of metaphors)? (254) How do the Thought as Language, Thought as Mathematical Calculation, and Mind as Machine metaphors, put thinkers at odds with the very notion of conceptual metaphor? (255)

91. What, according to LJ, would sanctioning the existence of conceptual metaphors do to analytic philosophy? (255)

92. Why do cognitive scientists concerned with the empirical study of the mind, who are ultimately committed to studying the mind in terms of the brain and its neural structure, find Anglo-American approaches to philosophy of mind and language odd? (255) What can such cognitive scientists not do? (256) Why do they find the "central idea" of Anglo-American philosophy and (European) phenomenology bizarre? (256)

93. Why do many philosophers, on the other hand, find so many of the views of the Anglo-American philosophical schools "intuitive"? (256) Are LJ saying that these perspectives went wrong because they relied upon metaphor? (256)

94. What metaphor for mind do LJ mention on p. 266? How does the view that the mind is embodied contradict the philosophy suggested by this metaphor? (265-66)

95. Do we have a purely literal conception of mind? Is it adequate for detailed reasoning about mental acts? (266)

96. What do many of the metaphors we use for conceptualizing mind conceal from us? (266)