How Metaphors Work

Good metaphors are expansive; they compare something we don’t understand, to something we do. You see in a new light both the object of interest and the substrate you rest it on.

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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
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Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

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