Publication details [#5938]

Hirschman, Elizabeth C. 2002. Metaphors, archetypes, and the biological origins of semiotics. Semiótica 142 (1-4) : 315–349.


A review of Hirschman argues against Danesi's fundamental assumption that the construction of semiotic meanings is primarily cultural, not biological, and upholds the validity of the Jungian notion of the collective unconscious as species-specific, biologically based knowledge. Abundant archaeological evidence for the evolution of specialized cognitive capabilities in humans approximately 60,000-30,000 years ago is held to support the Jungian view, as do recent research findings in cognitive psychology indicating the embodiment of the mind, the unconscious nature of consumer thought, and the metaphorical character of abstract concepts. Extracts from four interviews with consumers of strikingly different backgrounds are analyzed in this context to show how archetypes in the Jungian sense are woven into life-story narrations through metaphor. (J. Hitchcock in LLBA 2003, vol. 37, n. 4)