Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-21-2016

DOI

10.1080/15265161.2016.1214307

Publication Title

The American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB)

First Page

22

Last Page

24

Volume

16

Issue

10

College/School

School of Medicine

Grant

5T32NR012704-05

Funder

National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Abstract

In all facets of our lives, humans construct meaning to understand their place in the world and their relationships to one another and to broader environments. Within this semantic web, words, stories, and metaphors play a key role in the meaning-making process, with the latter serving as a particularly important means of fluidly integrating thoughts, values, and actions across cognitive domains. Derived from the Greek roots “meta” (over/across) and “phor” (to carry) and literally meaning “carrying across,” metaphor guides an understanding of one thing in terms of another. It is such a pervasive tendency in human speech and thought that researchers have established we utter one metaphor for every 10–25 words, or about six metaphors per minute (Geary 2011). This holds true in medicine and public health, wherein our prevalent, ever-evolving metaphors of disease have the social power to literally position people and resources within a culture.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The American Journal of Bioethics on 9/21/2016, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15265161.2016.1214307.

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