A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

14 A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution readily available to our senses, must be the basis of a conceptualization of what is abstract” (2014: 354). In fact, there is nothing more concrete than the domain of physical objects and the object schema must constitute the “the ultimate source domain” (2012, 2014), that cannot serve as a target domain (see Krzeszowski 1997). Thus, according to Szwedek, the domain of physical objects plays a fundamental role in communicating about the phenomenological world. The process of conceptualizing abstract entities (phenomena) in terms of known physical objects (objectification), is postulated as a necessary first step in our cognizing about any non-physical (metaphysical) phenomena or ensuing metaphorization. In his theory, the object refers to any material entity, including animate beings, plants, and (inorganic) things (Szwedek 2008: 312). Szwedek’s hypothesis has several theoretical ramifications. Firstly, his view rejects proposals that space or structure may have the status of a primary source domain (see e.g. Lakoff & Johnson 1980; Rumelhart 1993; Grady, Taub & Morgan 1996). Szwedek argues that neither space nor structure can exist without objects that constitute space or have physical structure. In his words, “it is not space that is accessible to our senses […]. It is the physical objects […] that are the only entities accessible to our senses and it is the physical object that is the ultimate source domain of SPACE” (2009a: 331). He also notices that “structure cannot exist without the object that has the structure. […] Thus, in order for an abstract concept to be assigned some structure, it must be objectified first, that is, given the status of an object” (2010: 103). Secondly, his theory gives conceptual priority to ontological metaphors over structural or orientational metaphors because “before creating X is Y metaphor, it is necessary to objectify the concept by assigning it some physical-like (ontological) status” (2002: 162). Consequently, “ontological metaphors are primary, and structural and orientational metaphors derive from them” (2014: 346).3 Thirdly, Szwedek proposes a new typology 3 Szwedek points out that the way Lakoff and Johnson (1980) present their classification of structural, orientational and ontological metaphors causes some theoretical and analytical problems. Firstly, the order in which the metaphorical types are presented – structural, orientational and ontological – suggests some kind of logical arrangement, such as an order of importance or pervasiveness. This ordering, repeated in handbooks on Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. Kövecses 2002), gives structural metaphors some priority that cannot be easily repaired by later comments, as in Kövecses (2002: 160): “Once a ‘nonthing’ experience has received the status of a thing through an ontological metaphor, the experience so conceptualized can be structured further by means of structural metaphors.” The special attention devoted to structural metaphors that we find in studies on metaphors in science could be a side-effect of