DESIRE Conceptualizations and Culture in the Scottish Enlightenment

University essay from Lunds universitet/Engelska

Author: Hugo Nordland; [2010]

Keywords: Languages and Literatures;

Abstract: An historical approach to language is crucial to both our understanding of language development and of how emotions are conceptualized, not only as they are in our present day but also how they have been conceptualized throughout time and what the underlying mechanisms are that shape these conceptualizations. The main aim of the present study will be to examine how important philosophers of the Scottish enlightenment conceptualized DESIRE metaphorically. The forces of creation behind conceptualizations in language have been explained in different ways. One was presented by George Lakoff in 1987, he claimed, with reference to research made by a group of psychologists; the Ekman group, that conceptualizations of emotions can be explained physiologically. His illustrating example is a study on the concept of ANGER in modern American-english. The suggestion is that the reason that the most important conceptualizations of ANGER are ANGER IS THE HEAT OF A FLUID IN A CONTAINER and ANGER IS FIRE is due to the fact that our body temperatures in fact rise as we get angry. As a consequence, claims where made that this theory would be culturally independent, the physiological theory was not believed to be contradicted by any conceptualizations in any language across the world and neither through historical time. (Gevaert 2007:3

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