Metaphor and Emotion

Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling

by Zoltán Kövecses

Series: Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction

This book challenges the 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. Kovecses illustrates through detailed cross-linguistic analyses how many emotion concepts reflect wide-spread metaphorical patterns of thought. These emotion metaphors arise from recurring embodied experiences, one reason why human emotions across many cultures conform to certain basic biological-physiological processes in the human body and of the body interacting with the external world. 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 integrated system. Kovecses convincingly shows how this integrated system points to the reconciliation of the seemingly contradictory views of biological reductionism and social constructionism in contemporary debates about human emotion.

In The Press

'I deem Metaphor and Emotion to be a substantial work … I believe that any literary-linguistic scholar interested in cognition, emotion or metaphor will find this work hugely rewarding.' Language and Literature