The traditional view of the mind holds that poetic language is a special human ability requiring different cognitive and linguistic skills than employed in ordinary language. The author overturns the traditional perspective by showing how figurative aspects of language reveal the poetic structure of mind. Ideas and research from psychology, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and literary theory are used to establish important links between the poetic structure of thought and everyday use of language. The Poetics of Mind evaluates current philosophical, linguistic, and literary theories of figurative language and relates the empirical work on figurative language understanding to the broader issues concerning the nature of everyday thought and reasoning.
"...accessible to the uninitiated reader and still maintains the highest scholarly standards...Anyone who is interested in the relationship between language and thought should read this book, and they will not be disappointed." Boaz Keysar, Contemporary Psychology "...remarkable both for its comprehensive treatment of its subject and for the way it puts poetics, that is, figurative thought (the variety of tropes), at the very heart of mental operations and social interactions...strongly recommended." James W. Fernandez, American Anthropologist