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Distributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture$
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Miranda Anderson and Michael Wheeler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474438131

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474438131.001.0001

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Metaphors They Lived By: The Language of Early Modern Intersubjectivity

Metaphors They Lived By: The Language of Early Modern Intersubjectivity

(p.250) 14 Metaphors They Lived By: The Language of Early Modern Intersubjectivity
Distributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter contends that conceptual metaphors constitute a form of distributed cognition. But while Lakoff and Johnson (1999) propose a transhistorical theory of conceptual metaphor, the present essay, following Trim (2007, 2011), presents a diachronic account of conceptual metaphor that allows for cultural evolution and historical change. Originally presented as a companion piece to Lochman, this chapter offers a case study of metaphors of emotional and cognitive enaction that were prominent during the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, and that throw into relief certain premodern perceptions of intersubjectivity and synchrony. Conceptual metaphors frequently entail notions of gender, in addition to those of embodiment, extension, and enaction. Drawing attention to the gendered aspect of the history of distributed cognition helps us to understand our own embodiment better, while also enabling us to perceive and to critique in new ways the long history of real and imagined gender differences, as well as the political, social, and conceptual hierarchies that have been naturalized in and by our metaphors.

Keywords:   conceptual metaphor, intersubjectivity, enaction, synchrony, gender, embodiment, affectivity

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