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<nettime-ann> Koenigsberg & Lakoff on Embodied Metaphor and Genocide
Orion Anderson on Fri, 18 Jan 2008 11:15:31 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Koenigsberg & Lakoff on Embodied Metaphor and Genocide


Embodied Metaphor and Genocide
By Richard Koenigsberg

The essence of metaphor according to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson is "understanding one thing in terms of another." The organization of knowledge occurs when a "source domain" gets mapped onto a "target domain," allowing us to make meaningful deductions. The research of Lakoff and Johnson focuses on how "Structures of our bodily experience work their way up into abstract meanings and structures of thought." Bodily experiences get mapped onto schemas that shape cognition and perception.

My study of Hitler's Ideology (2008, see below) represents an analysis of embodied metaphors contained within Hitler's writings and speeches. Nazism revolved around Hitler's conception of Germany as an enormous national organism or body politic. Hitler imagined that Germany was suffering from a "disease within the body politic" caused by Jewish bacteria. In order to save the life of the nation, it was necessary to destroy the source of Germany's disease. Genocide represented the acting out of an immunological fantasy.

Insofar as knowledge is organized when a source domain gets mapped into a target domain, it follows that Hitler's perception of a disease within the body politic articulated a disease that Hitler experienced within his own body. What was the nature of Hitler's (psychosomatic) disease? How does the suffering of human beings get projected into culture, creating diseases such as war and genocide?


Hitler's Ideology: Embodied Metaphor,
Fantasy, and History

By Richard A. Koenigsberg

ISBN: 978-1593118563

The Fantasy of Oneness and the Struggle to Separate

INDIVIDUALS: Please email OAnderson {AT} ideologiesofwar.com for information on how you can order your own, personal copy at a special, discounted rate.


"When political figures refer to national crises as 'cancers,' Richard Koenigsberg feels its no accident. He feels such expressions are echoes of a nation's hidden belief systems. If you can understand the underlying fantasies that provide politicians with such rhetoric, then you can understand the country. This book presents an ingenious technique for identifying the psychological origins of political and social events." --The Village Voice

"This work deserves to be an instant classic. With care and caution, Koenigsberg remains close to the data. Koenigsberg suggests that what is at stake is larger than an explanation of Hitler, Nazism, or even nationalism: it is, rather, an explanation of culture itself. Koenigsberg's genius has unlocked many of the secrets of a timeless drama." --Howard F. Stein, Professor of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma

Hitler's Human Body and the Body Politic

Hitler's Human Body and the Body Politic


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