The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities

Basic Books (2002)
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Abstract

Until recently, cognitive science focused on such mental functions as problem solving, grammar, and pattern-the functions in which the human mind most closely resembles a computer. But humans are more than computers: we invent new meanings, imagine wildly, and even have ideas that have never existed before. Today the cutting edge of cognitive science addresses precisely these mysterious, creative aspects of the mind.The Way We Think is a landmark analysis of the imaginative nature of the mind. Conceptual blending is already widely known in research laboratories throughout the world; this book, written to be accessible to both lay readers and interested scientists, is its definitive statement. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner show that conceptual blending is the root of the cognitively modern human mind, and that conceptual blends themselves are continually combined and reblended to create the rich mental fabric in which we live.The Way We Think shows how this blending operates; how it is affected by (and gives rise to) language, identity, culture, and invention; and how we imagine what could be and what might have been. The result is a bold and exciting new view of how the mind works.

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