A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

24 A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution i) Composition of elements from the inputs (i.e. as a result of blending there emerge relations that do not exist in the inputs). ii) Completion: knowledge of background frames, cognitive and cultural models, allows the composite structure projected into the blend from the inputs to be viewed as part of a larger self-contained structure in the blend. The pattern in the blend triggered by the inherited structures is completed into the larger, emergent structure. (Fauconnier 1997: 150) iii) Elaboration of the blend by running it imaginatively and arriving at a new structure. Thus, “the blend inherits partial structure from the input spaces and has emergent structure of its own” (Fauconnier 1997: 149, italics in original). Generic space Blend Input I2 Input I1 Fig. 1.1. An Integration Network – a minimal template (adapted from Fauconnier & Turner 2002: 46) The emergent structure revealed by “running the blend” is behind the power of blends discussed by Fauconnier (1997: 165–168). Fauconnier argues that “running blends can lead to deep discoveries that were not anticipated in setting up the blend” (1997: 166) and provides evidence that conceptual integration through blending has played a key role in the development of science; for example, in the development of hyperbolic geometry, number theory, Fourier’s theory of heat propagation, and Maxwell’s unification of the theories of electricity, heat, magnetism, and galvanism. Later in this study, it is demonstrated that the theory of evolution is also the result of a complex integration network and that some of its elements are elaborated through the process of “running the blend.”