A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

xiv A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and expression. Finally, because of the richness of the data and the historical perspective (over 150 years of evolution-related communication), it is possible to investigate the development of Darwin’s original metaphorical framing of the theory. One can study the persistence or modification of metaphors in The Origin, their reception, and the use of new visual technologies (e.g. computer animation) to communicate them to the general public. The book has the following structure. Chapter One presents an overview of Cognitive Semantics to provide the methodological background and terminology for the subsequent analysis. The main focus is placed on the assumptions of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory: experientialism, embodiment, image schemas, conceptual metaphor types, challenges to the framework and its developments. The chapter also outlines the main assumptions of the Blending Theory and Talmy’s force dynamics. Selected research on the role of metaphor in science and in biology is presented in Chapter Two. The first part of the chapter outlines the philosophical perspective of the functions of metaphors in formulating and expressing scientific theories and models. The second part of the chapter provides an overview of the existing literature on the role of metaphors in biological sciences and in Darwin’ theory. We also provide reasons for the value of a Cognitive Semantics approach to the issue of metaphors in science. The following three chapters investigate conceptual metaphors and blends in The Origin. Chapter Three addresses the concept of evolutionary change, pivotal for the theory of evolution. Metaphors and blends that underlie this concept are identified. These include: the journey metaphor and its connection with the phenomenon of apparent motion, metaphors of time, objectification of change, and the Changing Individual blend. This chapter also discusses such issues as the representation of genetic relationships among organisms as a tree diagram, the image schemas inherent in the Tree of Life, and the connections between Darwin’s theory and the Great Chain of Being. Chapter Four analyses the struggle for existence, the most recognized Darwinian concept. In the course of the analysis, the integration network of input spaces, some of them cultural, that yields the concept of struggle for existence is identified. Additionally, three levels of antagonistic relationships in nature assumed by the evolutionary theory are discussed in terms of Talmy’s force-dynamic patterns. In Chapter Five, Cognitive Semantics analysis is applied to natural selection, another key concept of evolution. Taking into account the Event-Structure model, the investigation will attempt to explain Darwin’s persistence in personifying natural selection in all editions