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How Metaphors Work

Language is a tower of metaphors, each “higher” one resting on older ones “below”. Not every word can be a metaphor or else language would be meaningless. At the base of the tower are words like push and down, two of the non-metaphorical word-concepts on which the tower rests. Push and down are understood by us viscerally, because we are wetware, collections of chemicals rather than silicon or computer code, that experience the world through the sensations that chemicals are capable of. You cannot have lived without knowing what it is to have struggled against gravity and responded to light and warmth, and hence to know that down and dark are bad and up and light are good.
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