Metaphor and Emotion: Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling

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Are human emotions best characterized as biological, psychological, or cultural entities? Many researchers claim that emotions arise either from human biology (i.e. biological reductionism) or as products of culture (i.e. social constructionism). This book challenges this simplistic division between the body and culture by showing how human emotions are to a large extent "constructed" from individuals' embodied experiences in different cultural settings. The view proposed here demonstrates how cultural aspects of emotions, metaphorical language about the emotions, and human physiology in emotion are all part of an intergrated system. It shows how this system points to the reconciliation of the seemingly contradictory views of biological reductionism and social constructionism in contemporary debates about human emotion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kovesces's work is an exemplary and provocative exploration in cognitive linguistics. He has chosen a set of important questions about emotions, and he shows how traditional attempts to characterize the language of emotion were overly restrictive...A work of penetrating scholarship, providing illuminating examples from a broad range of languages and cultures." Contemporary Psychology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521541466
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction Series, #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Language and emotion concepts; 2. Metaphor of emotion; 3. Emotion metaphors: are they unique to the emotions?; 4. Events and emotions: the subcategorization of emotions; 5. The force of emotion; 6. Emotions and relationships; 7. Folk versus expert theories of emotion; 8. Universality in the conceptualization of emotion; 9. Cultural variation in the conceptualization of emotion; 10. Emotion language: a new synthesis.

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