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a figure of speech in which a term is transferred from the object it ordinarily designates to an object it may designate only by implicit comparison or by analogy, as in the phrase "evening of life."
A statement reflecting the cognitive process of linking two normally separate cognitive systems by placing concepts from one such system in the context of another, thereby suggesting an understanding and experiencing of particular incidences of the concepts in the former system in terms of the rules, pattern of reasoning and ideas provided by the latter. E.g., the metaphor "love is madness" places the concept of "love" into the context of "mental disorder," entails a variety of more specific statements such as "I am crazy about her", "she is driving me wild" and makes many concepts from the domain of mental disorder available, such as "it is a healthy relationship" (Lakoff). Common metaphors in the social sciences include "society is an organism", "messages are containers for meanings", and in cybernetics, "the mind is a computer". Although historically a concept of literature, metaphors account for differences in individual as well as societal behavior, e.g., compare "war is a gamble", with "war is a religious commitment". Metaphors simplify the cognitive organization of memory, but also contain the dangers of inappropriate reasoning (see analogy, anthropomorphism). (Krippendorff)
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