¹ 2 - 2004
Pecherskaya N.V.

To Know or to Call: Metaphor as Cognitive Resource of Social Knowledge

An attempt has been made in the article to analyze social discourse in the light of the metaphor interpreted not just as a means of description, but as a mode of generating social knowledge. The subject discussed is not the metaphor per se, but the metaphor as alternative logic of producing social knowledge, as cognitive resource which, on the one hand, determines and cements scientific paradigms, and, on the other, establishes the vector of innovations in man’s knowledge of himself and of the surrounding world. Proceeding from the ideas suggested by the initiators of the “linguistic turn” in social sciences, the author demonstrates that the metaphor is a mode of constructing meanings that are lacking in the language: destroying habitual ideas of reality, it makes us look anew and otherwise at the interrelation between elements, inscribe our understanding into a new frame of perception. With this, furthermore, the metaphor, as the author notes, not only actualizes, but also generates sense. In a metaphoric utterance there emerges new content not reducible to the one generally accepted.