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Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse
Unformatted Document Text:  Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 36 vehicles used to form metaphorical expressions, but also among the contextual effects─the perceptual simulations they activate when used in particular contexts. This approach likely will pay dividends in understanding the role of metaphors in mediating between individual, cognitive processes, and social, interactive and cultural processes, as well as in understanding the ideological and political uses of metaphors. “Under-the-radar” is itself not a clearly defined category; many metaphors may fit our description. Some of the metaphors we have discussed are certain to be disputed. Opponents of taxation may claim that the relevant feature of the tax is its association with death, whereas proponents claim that the relevant feature is its association with inheriting a large fortune. Other metaphors we have discussed, including such emotionally-charged examples as Frankenfood, are unambiguously metaphorical, but may still be claimed to be in some important sense “literally true.” Advocates for opposing positions on the underlying moral and political controversies are likely to take opposing positions on the metaphorical status of these phrases, a fact that is entirely consistent with the approach we have suggested. Conclusion We have identified a class of expressions presented in a way that can be taken easily as literal (and in many cases are regarded as literal by the people who use these expressions) even though, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that they can also be taken as metaphorical. In some cases (Tony Blair’s use of “I’m back”) a phrase is used in a way that is simultaneously literal and metaphorical (Ritchie, 2008). We have suggested that the ambiguous status of these phrases enables them to bring implicit assumptions under our radar of ordinary critical scrutiny, and that this can greatly strengthen their framing effects.

Authors: Coleman, Cynthia-Lou. and Ritchie, L. David.
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Metaphors in Biopolitics, page 
36
vehicles used to form metaphorical expressions, but also among the contextual 
effects─the perceptual simulations they activate when used in particular contexts. This 
approach likely will pay dividends in understanding the role of metaphors in mediating 
between individual, cognitive processes, and social, interactive and cultural processes, 
as well as in understanding the ideological and political uses of metaphors. 
Under-the-radar” is itself not a clearly defined category; many metaphors may fit 
our description. Some of the metaphors we have discussed are certain to be disputed. 
Opponents of taxation may claim that the relevant feature of the tax is its association 
with death, whereas proponents claim that the relevant feature is its association with 
inheriting a large fortune. Other metaphors we have discussed, including such 
emotionally-charged examples as Frankenfood, are unambiguously metaphorical, but 
may still be claimed to be in some important sense “literally true.” Advocates for 
opposing positions on the underlying moral and political controversies are likely to take 
opposing positions on the metaphorical status of these phrases, a fact that is entirely 
consistent with the approach we have suggested. 
Conclusion
We have identified a class of expressions presented in a way that can be taken 
easily as literal (and in many cases are regarded as literal by the people who use these 
expressions) even though, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that they can 
also be taken as metaphorical. In some cases (Tony Blair’s use of “I’m back”) a phrase is 
used in a way that is simultaneously literal and metaphorical (Ritchie, 2008). We have 
suggested that the ambiguous status of these phrases enables them to bring implicit 
assumptions under our radar of ordinary critical scrutiny, and that this can greatly 
strengthen their framing effects. 


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