I’m continuing to lay the groundwork for assertions to come. Today’s points are: Thought is mostly unconscious; cognitive metaphors structure our thinking.
Cognitive psychologists now believe that thought is more often than not unconscious; most thinking is done below the level of awareness. Our cognitive unconscious structures our unconscious thought into patterns. These patterns originate in metaphors, which psychologists call cognitive metaphors. For instance, George Lakoff in his book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think talks about a Moral Accounting metaphor which we unconsciously use to conceptualize our morality in terms of financial transactions. If you do someone a favor, they are indebted to you and may feel the need to repay you. If you hurt someone, they may want to get even. Morality is structured in financial terms because of the Moral Accounting cognitive metaphor which we carry around inside us.
So, a complicated but logical system of unconscious metaphors structures our thought just as a complicated but logical system of cells structures our bodies.