From butchers and surgeons to the linguistic method
On language and cognition as supraindividual phenomena
The study of metaphors and blends deals frequently with isolated, acontextualised examples from the English language. Through them certain cognitive processes are said to be identified and such processes are allegedly of universal value and characteristic of the human mind at large. This chapter first examines a well-known metaphor or blend, This surgeon is a butcher! and argues that the analyses based on “solipsistic” individual cases are principally incorrect. A brief review of the need to take into account the aspects left out in mainstream Cognitive Linguistics leads to the identification of a number of methodological flaws in the standard procedures and to the necessary changes to be made.