“Freedom” Without Meaning? Abstract Concepts, Cognition, and Linguistic Determinism - The concept of “freedom” describes one of the most fundamental values in contemporary western society. However, even though everyone agrees that we need to defend freedom at any cost, people of different mo-ral, political and social opinions interpret this concept in very diverse, or even opposing ways. In spite of the-se clear differences, it is common opinion that this concept is characterized at its basis by a kind of common denominator, on which everybody agrees and that represents the goal of a shared battle. The study we pro-pose here investigates this opinion from a cognitive point of view with the aim of determining how the abstract concept of freedom is formed and what information it is composed of. The analysis – that in some respects relates to Lakoff’s theory – identifies a common cognitive concrete core for the concept of freedom and explains how the development of this concept from its concrete to abstract form is influenced by the ideology individuals embrace. The conclusion shows that the cognitive core of the concept is too undeter-mined to serve as a common denominator in defining a shared value and points out some limits of Lakoff’s approach, delineating a possible future line of research on these topics.

"Libertà" senza significato? Concetti astratti, cognizione e determinismo linguistico

Dellantonio, Sara;Pastore, Luigi
2012

Abstract

“Freedom” Without Meaning? Abstract Concepts, Cognition, and Linguistic Determinism - The concept of “freedom” describes one of the most fundamental values in contemporary western society. However, even though everyone agrees that we need to defend freedom at any cost, people of different mo-ral, political and social opinions interpret this concept in very diverse, or even opposing ways. In spite of the-se clear differences, it is common opinion that this concept is characterized at its basis by a kind of common denominator, on which everybody agrees and that represents the goal of a shared battle. The study we pro-pose here investigates this opinion from a cognitive point of view with the aim of determining how the abstract concept of freedom is formed and what information it is composed of. The analysis – that in some respects relates to Lakoff’s theory – identifies a common cognitive concrete core for the concept of freedom and explains how the development of this concept from its concrete to abstract form is influenced by the ideology individuals embrace. The conclusion shows that the cognitive core of the concept is too undeter-mined to serve as a common denominator in defining a shared value and points out some limits of Lakoff’s approach, delineating a possible future line of research on these topics.
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Dellantonio, Sara; Pastore, Luigi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/33093
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