From Library Journal
Conceptual blending, a process that operates below the level of consciousness and involves connecting two concepts to create new meaning, can be used to explain abstract thought, creativity, and language. It is, according to the authors, "at the heart of imagination." This theory, an outcome of a 1992 project led by Fauconnier (chair, cognitive science, Univ. of California, San Diego) and Turner (chair, English, Univ. of Maryland), describes a basic mental operation that is unique to the human species. Numerous examples are offered to illustrate conceptual blending and to demonstrate how it may play out in different "conceptual niches." Blends, which occur constantly without our awareness, are critical for the creation of emergent meanings and "global insight." The authors further argue that language surfaced naturally once the capacity for blending had developed to a critical level about 50,000 years ago. This theory requires a language of its own, generating such terms as counterfactual thinking, compression, projection, and vital relations. While skillfully written, the text, like the human mind, is rather complex. Recommended for cognitive science collections in academic libraries. Laurie Bartolini, Illinois State Lib., Springfield
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An absorbing read for any nonscience person. The authors support their claims with hundreds of field cases. -- Wired Magazine, April 2002
Any student of thought and language will learn a great deal from this fascinating book. -- The American Scientist, December 2002
What they have done is to uncover a function of the brain and show its remarkable richness and complexity. -- The Atlantic Monthly, December 2002.