Metaphor & the Psychological Interpretation of Culture Richard A. Koenigsberg I. IDEOLOGY AND METAPHOR II. CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS III. FANTASY AND THE EMBODIED MIND IV. PSYCHIC DETERMINISM V. THE HUMAN BODY AND THE BODY POLITIC IDEOLOGY AND METAPHOR Ideologies contain and articulate psychological meanings. How is it possible to decipher the latent content of ideological texts? I have developed a method, "analysis of metaphor," that consists of identifying recurring images and metaphors within writings and speeches of individuals who have been significant in defining an ideology and bringing it forth onto the public stage. _____ Read the online publication: Analysis of <http://www.psych-culture.com/docs/rk_metaphor.html> Metaphor: Method for the Psychological Interpretation of Culture _____ CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS The theories of George Lakoff and Mark L. Johnson have become highly influential. According to the concept of "metaphorical mapping," slots in a "source domain schema" get mapped into slots in a "target domain," shaping our perceptions within this domain. Target domains are abstract, conceptual domains, whereas source domains are familiar ones, most often in the physical world. My method grows out of research on Hitler and Nazism, presented in <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jwnfrncab.0.0.85y8w8n6.0&ts=S0337&p=http%3A%2F%2Fww w.richardkoenigsberg.com%2Fhitlers_ideology_promo.pdf&id=preview> Hitler's Ideology: Embodied Metaphor, Fantasy and History (2007) and in online publications such as <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jwnfrncab.0.0.85y8w8n6.0&ts=S0337&p=http%3A%2F%2Fww w.ideologiesofwar.com%2Fdocs%2Frk_ipg.htm&id=preview> "Ideology, Perception and Genocide" and <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jwnfrncab.0.0.85y8w8n6.0&ts=S0337&p=http%3A%2F%2Fho me.earthlink.net%2F%257Elibraryofsocialscience%2Fgi.htm&id=preview> "Genocide as Immunology" Hitler's world view--his perception of reality--grew out of his belief that Germany was a body and Jews pathogenic organisms. The Final Solution represented the acting out of an immunological fantasy as the Nazis sought to destroy the source of Germany's disease in order to prevent the death of the body politic. Hitler's rhetoric demonstrates how a source domain (the human body) may become mapped onto a target domain (the body politic). In <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jwnfrncab.0.0.85y8w8n6.0&ts=S0337&p=http%3A%2F%2Fma rkturner.org%2Fmtcrx.html&id=preview> More Than Cool (1989), Lakoff and Johnson observe that when a source domain gets mapped onto knowledge in a target domain, this allows us to draw inferences about this domain. Because Hitler projects the idea of a human body into the body politic, this permits him to infer that Germany suffering from a disease that requires diagnosis and cure. _____ Please send comments or commentaries via email to Orion Anderson at oanderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call (718) 393-1081 _____ FANTASY AND THE EMBODIED MIND Mark Johnson claims that bodily experience works its way into the mind through imaginative projection. According to Melanie Klein, fantasy never loses its connection to the body. Fantasy content is traceable to thoughts and feelings about the "working and contents of one's own body in relationship to the workings and contents of the body of the other." If ideologies articulate fantasies and fantasies derive from the body, it follows that ideologies are bound to--not separate from--our bodies. By virtue of embodied metaphors, the body with its fantasies makes its way into discourse. The target domain (ideological rhetoric) comes to be conceived or structured according to a source domain (the body and its fantasies). PSYCHIC DETERMINISM Metaphors are contained within ordinary patterns of language. Lakoff suggests that a community's world-views are articulated through figurative language. Perhaps metaphors are the vehicles through which unconscious fantasies and desires make their way into everyday life. Unconscious fantasies (about the body) continually enter into language and consciousness--through the vehicle of metaphor. Thus, there is no clear distinction between fantasy and ordinary mental operations. THE HUMAN BODY AND THE BODY POLITIC If ideas about a target domain are derived from experiences in a source domain, it follows that ideas about bodies politic cannot be separated from the experience of our own body. Hitler's rhetoric about the German body politic contains a narrative about Hitler. When Hitler speaks about Germany as a body containing a disease, he also is speaking about his own body with a disease contained within it. What was the nature of Hitler's disease that led him to devise the Final Solution as a means to kill the disease within the body politic?