On the Two Ways of Metaphorizing the World Pars Pro Toto or Intra Pro Extra
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Jagiellonian University
Publication date: 2009-06-30
Polish Sociological Review 2009;166(2):179-192
What experiences can be referred to when attempting to familiarize metaphorically oneself with the nature (essence) of the world? What is the source of thus emerging metaphors? The author suggests that there are two possible strategies of metaphorical representing the world as a whole: 1) pars pro toto, 2) intra pro extra. In other words, the source of metaphors can be either a more familiar part of outer reality or a dominant manner of experiencing oneself. Furthermore, the author introduce a distinction between two types of metaphorical language: 1) an intentional use of lexical constructions treated by user as metaphors, 2) a metaphorical expression of something without a conscious realization that a conventional metaphor is being used instead of a specific description. Concluding, the author considers the consequences of an “intra pro extra” hypothesis, as well as the possibility of its empirical verification; either in the case of individual differences or between-culture comparisons. He suggests that in some circumstances we experience ourselves more as “I am my body” while in others, we concentrate on the mental aspect of our existence, “I am my mind.” This dominant manner of experiencing oneself may pass onto a preferred way of metaphorizing entire reality.
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