DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION ranks among the most influential of modern scientific theories. Applying the methodology of COGNITIVE SEMANTICS , this study investigates how metaphors based on domains of JOURNEY, STRUGGLE, TREE and HUMAN AGENCY serve to conceptualize key concepts of Darwin’s theory — such as evolutionary change, natural selection, and relationships among organisms.
At the outset the author identifies original metaphors in The Origin of Species, to turn to their realizations in modern discourse on evolution in later chapters.
Thus, the study uncovers how metaphors contribute to structuring the theory by expressing it in a coherent and attractive way, and how they provide mental
tools for reasoning.
As the first comprehensive study of conceptual metaphors that underlie Darwin’s theory and affect the way we talk and think about evolution, it may be of
interest not only to linguists and evolutionary biologists but also to anyone interested in the interconnection between thought and language.