Professor Zoltán Kövecses (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest) in dialogue with Dr Boris Wiseman (MLAC): Metaphors as models for the emotions
This is part of the Metaphors as Models Intedisciplinary Dialogues series.
Research into emotions is characterized on the one hand by a metaphorical, universalist and experiantialist approach on the one hand and a non-metaphorical, non-universalist, and social constructionist one on the other; there are also attempts to reconcile them both. Recent research affirms the universality of certain basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, love, disgust. A large body of other research has shown that emotion terms and expressions are more than registers of physiological experience; they also have conceptual structure.
If it is the case that certain emotions are universal, due to innate psychological and physiological processes, but also have conceptual structures that are cultural in origin, then there is a problem in understanding the semantics of emotion language. The dialogue will focus on the tension between universals and cultural constructions in theories of emotion language and explore the chances of a synthesis.
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