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Conceptual metaphor

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In contemporary linguistics and cognitive science, conceptual metaphors are neurally-implemented mappings between concrete domains of discourse (often related to our body and perception) and more abstract domains. These are a well-known source of bias and are often exploited in the Dark Arts.

The conceptual metaphor "ARGUMENT is WAR" is frequently discussed at Less Wrong, since it is at the core of the Western adversarial system of debate. It is reflected in such statements as "I won that argument", "His position is indefensible", "He shot down my claim", "His criticisms were right on target" and the like.

Similarly, George Lakoff has documented the effect of political metaphors, which tend to map government to a "nurturing mother" or an "authoritarian father".

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