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Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory, and Cognitive Coherence
Nathan Davis—M.A. Thesis
Dept. of Cognitive Li...
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Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory, and Cognitive Coherence
Nathan Davis M.A. Thesis
University of Sussex—...
3
SUMMARY
This case study represents the first step toward establishing mutually beneficial avenues of communication and r...
4
1. INTRODUCTION—
Mapping Yin/Yang and Five Element Theoretical Frameworks Through Conceptual Blending Theory
1.1. Releva...
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3. ANALYSIS
3.1.The Integration Network in Chinese Medical Theory—
Yin-Yang and the Five Element Patterns of Interaction...
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LIST OF FIGURES:
Fig Y.—YIN-YANG
CYCLE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………p. 21
Fig 1—Yin-Yang Cycle Network Blend—...
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LIST OF FIGURES CONT.
EXTENSION OF FIVE ELEMENT PATTERNS TO CORRESPONDENCES
Fig 4—Blend 3: Extension of Five Element Seq...
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PREFACE
The idea for this dissertation came to me long before I ever heard of cognitive linguistics or conceptual blendi...
9
and sources for the study came almost entirely from Sussex University holdings. Almost every single text—on both cogniti...
10
Chinese medicine heals in a world of unceasing transformation. This condition of constant change, this fluidity
of mate...
11
1. INTRODUCTION— Mapping Yin/Yang and Five Element
Theoretical Through Conceptual Blending Theory
Frameworks
1.1. Relev...
12
1.2. Toward Mapping Cognitive Network Constructs of
Chinese Medicine
1.2.1. Embodied Conceptual Structure and
Categoriz...
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knowledge’” (2006:208). The concepts contained in this vast
network of encyclopaedic information shape our views of rea...
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through metaphor—i.e. GALLBLADDER IS CONTAINER OF
COURAGE and COURAGE IS QI (GASEOUS VITAL ENERGY)
IN GALLBLADDER (2003...
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profound is this realization of the interconnectedness of form and
meaning that they state: “In the evolutionary descen...
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1.3.3. Chinese Medical Theories of Yin-Yang and
The Five Elements as Knowledge Systems
Systematic conceptual networks a...
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the presence of a different pattern” (1989:26). Some
characterization therefore lies outside of these models.
2.2. Esta...
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spelled and also to how each item provides access to the
knowledge network.
2.2.2. Qi
Qi—also sometimes ch’i— is a vast...
19
these pairs as instances of a completely general pair,
an opposed but complementary x and y for which
any pair could be...
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temperatures and high levels of activity and movement. Each
phase of the cycle also represents a vast category of addit...
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2.2.4. The Five Elements
The “Five Elements” are wu xing—or hsing—in Chinese. These
“wu xing” are a subdivision of the ...
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table. Even when referred to as elements, they still refer to parts of
organized patterns of interaction. Confusion aro...
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employed in motion description.” (2003:97). An example of this
would be route descriptions utilizing descriptions like ...
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metaphorical extensions of embodied experience. The primary
function of metaphor then is to project patterns of inferen...
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with situationally appropriate logic—with the metaphor being
utilized to make claims about such determining factors. Ea...
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2.4. Toward Mapping the Cognitive Framework of Chinese
Medical Philosophies of Yin-Yang and the Five
Elements through C...
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understanding, we evolve bodily to integrate and function within
our environment—denying the philosophy of only one “tr...
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2.5. Introduction to Conceptual Blending Theory
2.5.1. Basic Principles
In his work Mental Spaces, Fauconnier highlight...
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integrated in that it has become “an instance of a particular
frame”—i.e. “the frame of two people walking on a path in...
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unconsciously” (2002:57). It is such a global system of
understanding that Chinese medicine is based. While Chinese
med...
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Turner 2002:101,102). It is the linguistic manifestation of such
systems of knowledge and conceptualization that allows...
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3. ANALYSIS
3.1. The Integration Network in Chinese Medical Theory—
Yin-Yang and the Five Element Patterns of Interacti...
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence
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Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence

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SUMMARY

This case study represents the first step toward establishing mutually beneficial avenues of communication and research between cognitive science and Chinese medicine. The relevance of such an endeavour is established by aligning the similarities between both systems—such as “levels of truth” and metaphoric extension of embodied experience. Upon establishing connections between both systems a more detailed case study is carried out by applying conceptual blending theory from cognitive science to Yin-Yang and Five Element theories in Chinese medicine. Conceptual blending provides the means by which the cognitive networks behind these knowledge systems can be modeled and available to conscious awareness. This case study begins the process of modeling the conceptual integration networks involved in both theories and their metaphoric extension of embodied experience to abstract objective patterns of interaction in the world.

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Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory and Cognitive Coherence

  1. 1. 1 Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory, and Cognitive Coherence Nathan Davis—M.A. Thesis Dept. of Cognitive Linguistics Sussex University 2006 Abstract Chinese medicine is an ancient form of health care that has relied heavily upon analogical thinking in order to build a complex system of knowledge networks. Cognitive linguistics is a modern approach to understanding encyclopaedic knowledge networks within the human mind. In this study conceptual blending theory—from cognitive science and linguistics—is utilized to illustrate possible cognitive constructs within the Chinese five-element theory of Chinese medical philosophy. Chinese five-element theory uses a system of analogy and metaphor to understand cosmological patterns of interaction, both within the human body and through interaction with environmental factors. Conceptual blending theory provides a model through which the cognitive reality of these analogical connections can be illustrated and understood by the Western scientific mind. In order to achieve this goal, extensive introductions have been provided to both conceptual blending theory and Chinese five-element theory. This is followed by a series of cognitive models created through the application of conceptual blending to five-element theory. This theoretical data analysis is intended to provide a basis for further study into the application of conceptual blending theory to Chinese scientific philosophy.
  2. 2. 2 Conceptual Blending, Chinese Five Element Theory, and Cognitive Coherence Nathan Davis M.A. Thesis University of Sussex—Cognitive Linguistics Dept. Under supervision of: Vyv Evans
  3. 3. 3 SUMMARY This case study represents the first step toward establishing mutually beneficial avenues of communication and research between cognitive science and Chinese medicine. The relevance of such an endeavour is established by aligning the similarities between both systems—such as “levels of truth” and metaphoric extension of embodied experience. Upon establishing connections between both systems a more detailed case study is carried out by applying conceptual blending theory from cognitive science to Yin-Yang and Five Element theories in Chinese medicine. Conceptual blending provides the means by which the cognitive networks behind these knowledge systems can be modeled and available to conscious awareness. This case study begins the process of modeling the conceptual integration networks involved in both theories and their metaphoric extension of embodied experience to abstract objective patterns of interaction in the world
  4. 4. 4 1. INTRODUCTION— Mapping Yin/Yang and Five Element Theoretical Frameworks Through Conceptual Blending Theory 1.1. Relevant Research in Conceptual Blending and Cognitive Science………………………………………p. 11 1.2. Toward Mapping Cognitive Network Constructs of Chinese Medicine…………………………………..p. 12 1.3. Cognitive Understanding of Systems………………………………………...…………………………….p. 14 1.4. A Case Study of Conceptual Blending in Chinese Medical Theories of Yin-Yang and The Five Elements……………………………………….……………………………………………………………p. 16 2. OVERVIEW—A Brief History of Both Sets of Theories: Conceptual Blending and Chinese Medical Theories 2.1. A Brief History of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements Interactions…………………………………………p. 16 2.2.Establishing Chinese Medicine as a System of Knowledge— A Detailed Orientation to Relevant Medical Theories………………………………………………………p. 17 2.3.Causation—Self-Limiting Western Perspectives……………………………………………………………p. 25 2.4.Toward Mapping the Cognitive Framework of Chinese Medical Philosophies of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements through Conceptual Blending Networks……………………………………………………………………p. 27 2.5.Introduction to Conceptual Blending Theory………………………………………………………………p. 29 2.6.Accessing Belief Systems Through Language……………………………………………………………..p. 31 2.7.Why Apply Conceptual Blending Theory to Chinese Medical Philosophy……………………………….p. 32
  5. 5. 5 3. ANALYSIS 3.1.The Integration Network in Chinese Medical Theory— Yin-Yang and the Five Element Patterns of Interaction………………………………………………………p. 33 3.2.The Foundation: Yin-Yang Cycle—Creation of Cosmological Systems (Figs. 1-2b) ……………………….p. 33 3.3.System Operation: The Five Element Patterns of Interaction (Figs. 3-3i) ……………………………………p. 44 3.4.System Established: Prepared for Extension (Figs. 4-4d) …………………………………………………….p. 62 3.5.Network Extension……………………………………………………………………………………………..p. 71 4. CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………………………………………p. 72 APPENDICIES: Appendix 1: Yin-Yang Correspondences…………………………………………………………………………………p. 75 Appendix 2: Five Element Correspondences………………………………………………………………………………p. 76 Appendix 3: Yin-Yang Cycle Correspondences and Icons…………………………………………………………………..p. 77 Appendix 4: Five Element Qualities and Image-Schematic Representations………………………………………………….p. 78 Appendix 5: Icons and Image-Schematic Representations…………………………………………………………………..p. 79 Appendix 6: Image-Schematic Phenomenological Motion-Organ Icon Blend…………………………………………………p. 80 Appendix 7: Complex Cross-Space Mapping—Generating/Controlling Seq. …………………………………………………p. 81 Appendix 8: Conceptual Blend Model... ………………………………………………………………………………….p. 82 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………………..…pp. 83, 84 Grade & Reviews: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….p. 85
  6. 6. 6 LIST OF FIGURES: Fig Y.—YIN-YANG CYCLE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………p. 21 Fig 1—Yin-Yang Cycle Network Blend—Blend 1……………………………………………………………………..p. 36 Fig 1a—Yin-Yang Cycle Blend: Cyclic Day/ Cardinal Directions………………………………………………………..p. 37 Fig 1b—Yin-Yang Cycle Blend: Seasons/ Phenomenological Motion…………………………………………………….p. 38 Fig 1c—Yin-Yang Multi-Scope Blend: Compressed Cycles of Space and Time…………………………………………..p. 39 Fig 2a—Blend 1 (G25): Lexical Information: Yin-Yang Cycle, Phenomenological motion………………………………...p. 41 Fig 2b— Blend 1 (G25): Image-Schematic: Yin-Yang Cycle, Phenomenological motion………………………………….p. 42 —EXTENSION OF YIN-YANG CYCLE TO FIVE ELEMENT PATTERNS: Fig 3—Yin-Yang Cycle and Five Element Sequences Network Blend—Blend 2………………………………………….p. 43 Fig 3a—Blend 2a: Yin-Yang Cycle, Phenomenological Motion, Material Substance………………………………………p. 48 Fig 3b—Blend 2a: Lexically Elaborated……………………………………………………………………………….p. 49 Fig 3c—Blend 2a: Image-Schematic Cross-Space Mappings……………………………………………………………..p. 50 Fig 3d—Blend 2b: Five Element Generating and Controlling Sequences Blend……………………………………………p. 53 Fig 3e— Blend 2b: Image-Schematic Content Five Element Sequences Blend……………………………………………..p. 54 Fig 3f— Blend 2b: Lexically Elaborated Five Element Sequences Blend………………………………………………….p. 55 Fig 3g— Blend 2: Complete Five Element Patterns of Interaction Blend…………………………………………………..p. 59 Fig 3h— Blend 2: Image-Schematic Content of Five Element Patterns of Interaction Blend………………………………...p. 60 Fig 3i— Blend 2: Content of Five Element Patterns of Interaction Blend…………………………………………………..p. 61
  7. 7. 7 LIST OF FIGURES CONT. EXTENSION OF FIVE ELEMENT PATTERNS TO CORRESPONDENCES Fig 4—Blend 3: Extension of Five Element Sequences to Additional Correspondences……………………………………………p. 66 Fig 4a—Blend 3: Highlighted Aspects of Mental Spaces in Blend 3……………………………………………………………..p. 67 Fig 4b—Blend 3a: Representative Element-Organ Blend: Generating Sequence………………………………………………….p. 68 Fig 4c— Blend 3b: Representative Element-Organ Blend: Controlling Sequence…………………………………………………p. 69 Fig 4d— Blend 3c: Representative Element-Organ Blend: All Five Element Sequences……………………………………………p. 70
  8. 8. 8 PREFACE The idea for this dissertation came to me long before I ever heard of cognitive linguistics or conceptual blending theory. Well, maybe not the exact idea but the inspiration for this study started a long time ago. It started with my desire to study Chinese medicine a number of years ago. After years of continually changing my area of study and searching for what it was that I really wanted to focus on, I realized that I’m really after “knowledge” itself—the search for “truth” maybe. My primary area of focus has always been the healthy function of the human body and interaction within the cosmos. This has lead me to switch my studies from psychology, to religion, to nutrition and medical sciences, to English language teaching, to more recently cognitive linguistics. So, how does this relate to Chinese medicine?—and even more importantly to cognitive linguistics! Well, I was drawn to study Chinese medicine—while studying nutrition— because I realized that Chinese medicine has maintained an intricate system for understanding such interactions of the human body—mind, body, and spirit—with the objective world for thousands of years. This lead me to become an English teacher so that I could live in Asia and study Chinese medicine at its roots. After only a very short period of time in Asia I realized that studying Chinese medicine at its roots cannot be approached in the same way as Western studies. Chinese medicine maintains a pluralistic system with respect for systems of knowledge and practice at different levels that ultimately holds the individual practitioner responsible for achieving global understanding of objective patterns interaction. This understanding is situated upon complex layers of conceptual integration of systems of form and meaning. It became evident that simply trying to “translate” the ideas is not very feasible. Lexical information is only the very surface level of the infinitely complex conceptual systems that lie below “the tip of the iceberg.” I then realized that information transmission ran far deeper than just its linguistic manifestation. This led me to search linguistics programs for a way to study about the human conceptual system through language. Much to my amazing there is a field called “cognitive linguistics.” So, here I am studying cognitive linguistics. I came to cognitive linguistics expecting to obtain a set of established tools that I could apply to function in the world. What I found was a study that is still diligently working to define, refine, and redefine tools for setting out to achieve the tasks that they have come to realize as critical during this present day and time. I found that if I want to be able to apply these theories to anything I’m going to either have to be patient enough for others to establish these tools or I’m going to have to contribute to the process. I was relatively discouraged until I found conceptual blending theory. Upon expressing my gratitude recently to Gilles Fauconnier, he informed me that Mark Turner—I hope I’m representing this correctly—told him that he couldn’t introduce diagrams of the sort that he intended in conceptual blending theory—as seen in The Way We Think. I’ve come to understand that I don’t “think” the same way as most linguists and for the most part my program has been an extreme rollercoaster of first understand what my instructors are trying to explain to me and then—the most arduous task of all—communicate my understanding back in a coherent way. This work is a move out of this curve, though maybe not by leaps and bounds. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the task that I’ve undertaken in this study is “ambitious”—or immensely large to say the least. I do realized this, but it is the only effort to which I am drawn. I don’t expect this work to warrant amazing marks or outstanding comments, my only hopes are that it is evident that I do understand the theories put forth in this paper and that the models created for this study coherently represent such an understanding to all those who read it—regardless of their theoretical background. As this endeavour did prove to be much larger than was initially realized, and the space allotted proved to be relatively small, the data analysis is not as intricately outlined as perhaps it could be in a much larger study. The data
  9. 9. 9 and sources for the study came almost entirely from Sussex University holdings. Almost every single text—on both cognitive linguistics and Chinese medicine—came from Sussex library. It is surprising that the Sussex library has such holdings. Most journal articles also came through the Sussex library online journal database. A few additional sources came from internet sites and personal pages from various researchers. The only other source of information and inspiration was from conversations with Gilles Fauconnier at the recent First UK Postgraduate Conference in Cognitive Linguistics. I should also express my gratitude to those who have made this program available to me, and for such an amazing opportunity to consider another perspective and have my ass kicked forcing myself to think about things in a completely different way than I’m used to academically. I should therefore thank all those in the linguistics department at Sussex University involved in creating and maintaining the cognitive linguistics program, all those who were involved directly in teaching the program— Vyvyan Evans, Melanie Green, and Stephanie Pourcel; all of those who were involved in initiating and organizing the recent conferences in cognitive linguistics at Sussex—especially Chris Sinha, Anu Koskela, and those previously mentioned; and John Sung for his foresight and help in dealing with the frustration of learning to communicate in an entirely new way—transitioning from a science background to the field of linguistics. It hasn’t been easy and I haven’t represented my capacity to achieve the task at hand very well for numerous assignments. This dissertation and case study represents the final step in a very compressed, very intense, very beneficial program of study. It is not developed as it could be—given more space and time. Though, I should hope that it has been developed enough to meet the goal of representing a sufficient understanding of the two sets of theories at hand—conceptual blending theory and Chinese Yin-Yang and Five Element theories. It is with this in mind that I present to you: Conceptual Blending Theory, Chinese Five Element Theory, and Cognitive Coherence.
  10. 10. 10 Chinese medicine heals in a world of unceasing transformation. This condition of constant change, this fluidity of material forms, stands in sharp contrast to a (modern Western) commonsense world of discrete entities characterized by fixed essences, which seem to be exhaustively describable in structural terms. Theories of relativity and indeterminacy notwithstanding, in our everyday life we still assume a Newtonian world of inertial masses, a world in which motion and change result from causes external to entities. Events must be accounted for in a logic of cause and effect, an ultimately mechanical relationship that requires the radical reduction of the plenum of phenomena to its most effective or significant elements. In this process a single reality, both universal and originary, is never (never quite completely) constructed as it is “described.” Basic changes in object status and life and death per se remain final mysteries that seem to escape the reductionist and causal logics of “science.” In other words, phenomena that are not easily reduced to quantifiable relations between discrete objects or analyzed as a system of “structures” and “functions” are a problem for explanatory methods grounded in Western materialist metaphysics.” Farquhar 1994:25
  11. 11. 11 1. INTRODUCTION— Mapping Yin/Yang and Five Element Theoretical Through Conceptual Blending Theory Frameworks 1.1. Relevant Research in Conceptual Blending and Cognitive Science Why should Conceptual Blending Theory be applied to Chinese medical theories of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements? Such a question is complexly detailed below the surface, but the answer on the very “tip of the iceberg” is quite simple. The simple answer: Because these theories obviously create complex systems of conceptual integration. While the employed metaphoric extensions of Chinese medical theories are blatantly obvious, it is their cognitive structure—the complexities involved in their global coherence—that remains a mystery to the Western mind. While the intricacies below the surface have remained largely inaccessible to the Western analytic mind, recent advances in the field of cognitive science and linguistics provide the potential for modeling this seemingly distant structure. Studying such theoretical frameworks from a cognitive perspective allows for structured mapping of the theories themselves, creating avenues of grounded communication between both theoretical perspectives and allowing for “levels of truth.” Varela, Thompson, and Rosch have been successful in developing such a “dialogue” between cognitive science and the Buddhist tradition in order to further understanding the embodied mind (1993). Lakoff and Johnson, in their seminal work Metaphors We Live By, illustrate the critical role of metaphor as a fundamental mechanism utilized by the mind to align all aspects of our embodied experience as human beings (1980). While many have followed suit and utilized this key insight to understand varying levels of knowledge and information systems, of high relevance is work done on Chinese language and philosophical ideas. Yu Ning has done much research into the nature of metaphor usage in Mandarin—also providing supporting evidence for the existence of metaphorical universals like “ANGER IS HEAT” and “TIME AS SPACE” (1998). In researching the role of language in shaping thought Boroditsky utilized cognitive theories to reveal key differences in conceptualization across languages. While these studies have all utilized key insights from cognitive science and linguistics to look at the nature of the embodied mind, conceptual structure, and metaphoric extension, of higher relevance is work done utilizing the specific theory considered in this study: conceptual blending. Conceptual blending theory has been applied to everything from cartoons and humour (Coulson 2005), to math (Lakoff and Nunez 2000), to magic, ritual, and religion (Sorensen; Sweetser 2000) to molecular genetics (John Sung In prep.) and even Chinese philosophy (Slingerland 2005). But no attempts are known of that apply conceptual blending theory to theories of Yin-Yang and Five Elements in Chinese medical science. The only work possibly alluding to such an endeavour is a study that came into light during the very last steps of this work. Yu Ning wrote a little known article in 1995 analyzing the role of metaphoric extension in the conceptualization of emotions in English and Chinese. In this article Yu looks at conceptualizations of emotion in both languages as culturally situated embodied experience. He considers the tendency of Chinese—over English to express emotion in terms of metaphoric extensions of human body parts. Of high relevance to this study is the fact that he gives special attention to the role of Yin-Yang and Five Elements theories in conceptualizing emotions as metaphorical extensions of human body parts, especially internal organs. Yu states that “these theories form a cognitive or cultural model underlying the metaphorical conceptualization in Chinese” (Yu 1995:59). It is upon such a realization that we set forth to model these theories—Yin-Yang and Five Elements—as metaphorically extended systems of embodied understanding.
  12. 12. 12 1.2. Toward Mapping Cognitive Network Constructs of Chinese Medicine 1.2.1. Embodied Conceptual Structure and Categorization Now that we have introduced relevant work in cognitive linguistics—in metaphor theory and conceptual blending—we should establish some key insights in the field of cognitive science and linguistics that lay the groundwork for application of these theories to Chinese medicine. Following in the footsteps of Varela—as he began to lay the foundation for lines of communication between the Buddhist tradition and cognitive science—our first consideration is cognitive understanding of the embodied mind. Lakoff and Johnson have also provided key insights into this area in their extensive work Philosophy in the Flesh (1999). This work provided key insights for this study and serves as a basis for much of the following information provided in this work on the key insights of cognitive science. In explaining the human mind, they assert that as neural beings we are subject to our embodied minds. The nature of our neurological structure leads to categorization—all living things categorize. This categorization is organized according to the types of bodies we have, not conscious reasoning. These categories are linked to concepts and embodied experience according to our neurological structures. “We divide the world up into entities at human scale so that we can manipulate them in human lives, and this division of the world is an imaginative achievement” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:8). In fact all living creatures divide the world up into categories based on the types of biological and neurological structures that we possess. They also point out the role of categories in language: “In other words, according to the cognitive framework, the same principles that hold for categorization in general also hold for linguistic categorization” (2006:43). So, as neural beings we are subject to categorization and this categorization is present in every single bit of our neurological structure—our embodied mind if you will. Along with categorization, concepts are also neurological structures and “any mental construct is realized neurally (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:19,20). Our neurologically based conceptual structures serve as a rich framework by which everyday embodied experience is structured and connected to our sensorimotor system. This correlation of our sensorimotor system to embodied conceptualization works to serve our functioning within our physical environment (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:43,44). Abstract subjective experience is then conceptualized through metaphoric extension of sensorimotor experience. Domains of subjective experience are therefore understood using conventional mental imagery from sensorimotor domains. Common subjective experience is also conceptualized through metaphor and is extremely evident in thought and language. All of this information is structured according to our neurological structures and is linked to encyclopaedic networks of knowledge. 1.2.2. Structured Encyclopaedic Knowledge— Building Metaphors and Establishing Networks Evans and Green provide a two-part thesis of encyclopaedic knowledge: 1) semantic structure “provides access to a large inventory of structured knowledge (the conceptual system)” and “word meaning cannot be understood independently of the vast repository of encyclopaedic knowledge to which it is linked.” 2) “this encyclopaedic knowledge is grounded in human interaction with others and the world around us (physical experience)” (2006:206). They go on to consider language as accessing encyclopaedic knowledge to provide simulations of perceptual experience. This structured knowledge system is external to linguistic knowledge, “falling within the domain of ‘world
  13. 13. 13 knowledge’” (2006:208). The concepts contained in this vast network of encyclopaedic information shape our views of reality and every aspect of our embodied experience. “The concepts we have access to and the nature of the ‘reality’ we think and talk about are a function of our embodiment: we can only talk about what we can perceive and conceive, and the things that we can perceive and conceive derive from embodied experience (Evans and Green 2006:46). We must therefore conclude that the human mind is shaped by embodied experience. This embodied experience give rise to image schemas around which details can be filled in. “If image schemas arise from bodily experience, then we may be able to explain conceptual metaphor on the basis that it maps rich and detailed structure from concrete domains of experience onto more abstract and conceptual domains” (Evans and Green 2006:164). Mapping across the domains of sensorimotor and subjective experience are therefore experientially grounded. Subjective judgment is conceptualized in terms of sensorimotor experience—i.e. More is Up/Less is Down (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:47,48). These experientially correlated conceptualizations are conflated early in life and the coactive domains are not experienced as separate, but the associations remain after being later differentiated via cross-space mapping. Such conflated associations serve as the basis for learning primary conceptual metaphors. These primary metaphors are not only linguistic in nature, but can also be found in grammar, gesture, art, ritual, etc. Complex metaphors are then built upon long-term coactive primary metaphors with the simple primary metaphors understood as being atomic components of “the molecular structure of complex metaphors” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:49). In summary we will consider the key points of second generation cognitive science as provided by Lakoff and Johnson: Conceptual structure arises from sensorimoror experience,” mental structures have meaning because of embodied experience, basic level concepts arise from motor schemas, “our brains are structured so as to project activations patterns (primary metaphors) from sensorimotor areas to higher cortical areas,” reason is embodied by virtue of having arisen from sensorimotor experience, “reason is imaginative in that bodily inference forms are mapped onto abstract modes of inference by metaphor,” and “conceptual systems are pluralistic in nature” with abstract concepts being defined by multiple conceptual metaphors (1999:77, 78). 1.2.3. How do Chinese Medical Theories of Yin- Yang and Five Elements fit into the Overall Network? Now that cognitive principles of experientially motivated metaphor extension and neural network organization have been established, it is now necessary to illustrate how Chinese medical theories are organized into this network. As one of the very first students of Western medicine to be allowed into China, David Eisenberg reports that Chinese medicine is “based on three thousand years of observation and philosophy, not on the scientific method of my Harvard medical instructors. My Western training relied heavily on causal relations, structure, and quantitative changes. The Chinese, by contrast, recognized patterns defined by a circular system of logic” (1995:34). Chinese medicine works to understand patterns of interaction based upon “the link among apparently unrelated phenomena as a kind of “resonance” among them” (Maciocia 1989:20). Based upon this understanding they work to understand the resonance of the human body with all patterns in nature. This relationship is established through an elaborate system of correspondences that are established by rote learning and then verified in practice. Maciocia also states that while this may seem far-fetched “some of these correspondences are commonly verified and experienced all the time in clinical practice” (1989:20). Yu illustrates how “resonance” can be conceptualized
  14. 14. 14 through metaphor—i.e. GALLBLADDER IS CONTAINER OF COURAGE and COURAGE IS QI (GASEOUS VITAL ENERGY) IN GALLBLADDER (2003b). Maciocia goes on to explain that this theoretical framework is a model, so it is subject to inconsistencies and one must be careful not to loose sight of other aspects of human body function when used in practice. One must be careful not to overextend the symbols in ways that supersede what they are representing. But “when properly used, however, the symbols can provide a quick and effective model to refer to in clinical practice and a guideline for diagnosis and treatment” (Maciocia 1989:22). Yin-Yang and Five Element theories represent two foundational theories of this symbolic representation. The symbolic systems utilized by these theories hold true on varying levels. Not every metaphorical extension is equally meaningful—some relationships have very deep implications, while others are not as useful. The system of metaphoric extensions—or correspondences as they are referred to within the theories—have “wide applications in human physiology” and other areas of practice. It is important to note that, while these extensions are cognitively metaphoric they are conceptualized within Chinese medicine as resonating, even outside of human conceptualization. “It could be said that these phenomena ‘resonate’ at a particular frequency and have particular qualities which respond to a certain Element,” and various different phenomena are “unified by an indefinable common quality, much as two strings would vibrate in unison” (1989:20,24). These theories are most obviously applied in clinical treatment to physiology and human organs where “each organ is seen as a sphere of influence which encompasses many functions and phenomena beyond the organ itself” (Maciocia 1989:24). As mentioned previously, Yu illustrates emotional expression in Chinese by metaphoric extension of body-parts. He notices two major types of idiomatic expressions of body terms. The first is external body parts, which are almost always metonymic. Emotions are described in terms of their observably correlated bodily movements and processes—though they become extended metaphorically—independent of “emotional symptoms or gestures”—once they are conventionalized. The second is internal body parts, which are metaphorically extended to provide a frame of imaginary bodily images. While based in metaphor, it can be seen that these “metaphoric” extensions of bodily organs, “though imaginary in nature, are not really all arbitrary. They seem to have a bodily or psychological basis” (Yu 2002). Yin-Yang and Five Element theories create an intricate system of cognitively extended metaphors that “provide a comprehensive and clinically useful model of relationships” the human body and our environment (Maciocia 1989:25). 1.3. Cognitive Understanding of Systems 1.3.1. Systems of Knowledge in “The Age of Form” Having given an overview of how cognitive networks are established, and having also provided evidence that Chinese medical theories can be represented by such networks, our next step is look at how individual knowledge systems are created within this vast network. In order to do this we must first look into nature of knowledge structures and conceptual systems and how they are situated in the cognitive unconscious. Fauconnier and Turner have pointed out—contrary to the views of analytic philosophers—that systems of form and meaning are so deeply intertwined that it is not possible to separate the two (2002:11). Analytical philosophers have distanced themselves from analogy and become blind to the complex imaginative operations of meaning to the extent that figurative thought has been excluded from “core meaning.” Given such a blinded view, systematic exploration of the cognitive unconscious has been avoided. So
  15. 15. 15 profound is this realization of the interconnectedness of form and meaning that they state: “In the evolutionary descent of our species, in the history of science, and in the developmental history of an individual person, systems of form and systems of meaning construction intertwine, so that it is not possible to view them as separable” (11). While systems of form and meaning are not the same, they are so deeply connected and mutually grounded that it is impossible to have one without the other. Formal approaches over-emphasize the identity and form by assuming that behind every form is yet another form. This leaves a lack of interest in analogy, which is seen as lacking precision and accuracy. This ignores the profound role of analogy as “a powerful engine of discovery” (14). Analogy became regarded as a vague form of thinking and only mere intuition. What was lacking for understanding of the role of analogical thinking was formal mechanisms for representation of analogy as a cognitive operation. It was not until after the discovery of the cognitive basis of metaphors that analogical thinking began to gain respect again from Western philosophical perspectives. Now, “work in a number of fields is converging toward the rehabilitation of imagination as a fundamental scientific topic, since it is the central engine of meaning behind the most ordinary mental events” (15). Having recognized the cognitive reality of analogical thinking, a framework can be created for modeling its structure. What we consciously have access to is only “the tip of the iceberg,” below which lies the immense cognitive unconscious structure where these analogical systems exist. Fauconnier and Turner recognize that it seems “strange that the systematicity and intricacy of some of our most basic and common mental abilities could go unrecognized for so long” (2002:18). Modern science has been very skeptical of such systems and has avoided systematically investigating them altogether. Framing, analogy, metaphor, grammar and commonsense reasoning are all involved in creating cognitive structure and must necessarily be considered in modeling its complexity. They therefore present conceptual blending as “another basic mental operation, highly imaginative but crucial to even the simplest kinds of thought (2002:18). 1.3.2. Application of Conceptual Blending to Systems of Knowledge As mentioned earlier, cognitive theories of metaphoric extension and conceptual blending have been applied to many things—from math, to magic, ritual, and religion, to cartoons, etc. Of particular interest is Yu’s work on conceptual metaphors in Mandarin. In one particular study on the metaphor THE MIND IS A BODY he reports that “It is found that, while the Chinese expressions under analysis largely conform to the conceptual mappings originally derived from linguistic evidence in English (Lakoff and Johnson 1999), there exists a difference between these two languages that reflects a significant difference between the related cultures. That is Western culture’s binary contrast between the heart, the seat of emotions, and the mind, the locus of thoughts, does not exist in traditional Chinese culture, where the heart is conceptualized as housing both emotions and thoughts. It is a case in which different cultural models interpret the functioning of the mind and the body differently.” (Yu 2003a:1) In another study he considers the use of metaphor in Chinese medicine where he reports “The study presents a case in which an abstract concept (courage) is understood in part via a conceptual metaphor grounded in the body, but shaped by a culture-specific metaphorical understanding of an internal organ (gallbladder) inside the body” (Yu 2003b:13). It is upon this evidence that it is reaffirmed that Chinese medicine and theories of Yin-Yang and Five Elements represent cognitive systems that can be conceptually modeled.
  16. 16. 16 1.3.3. Chinese Medical Theories of Yin-Yang and The Five Elements as Knowledge Systems Systematic conceptual networks are present in Chinese cultural understanding as reported by Yu: “A description and analysis of the data from the Chinese language show that numerous conventional expressions are systematically tied to each other and contributive to the underlying conceptual metaphors” (2003b:13). Volker Sheid also recognizes that Chinese medicine “can be modeled as a dynamic process of simultaneous emergence and disappearance” (2002:13). It is upon such ideas of non-reducible pluralities and the possibility of modeling the Chinese medical theories of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements as systems of simultaneous emergence and disappearance that we continue on toward our analysis of conceptual blending. 1.4. A Case Study of Conceptual Blending in Chinese Medical Theories of Yin-Yang and The Five Elements We should note here briefly that our primary goal is to conduct a case study of Chinese medical theories of Yin-Yang and Five Elements as an illustrated complex knowledge system within the larger human cognitive framework. We will be utilizing key insights and models provided by conceptual blending theory to look at specific mechanisms involved in the creation of these elaborate knowledge systems. 2. OVERVIEW— A Brief History of Both Sets of Theories: Conceptual Blending and Chinese Medical Theories 2.1. A Brief History of Yin-Yang and the Five Element Interactions Chinese Yin-Yang and Five Element theories have been applied to various aspects of life and philosophy and have fluctuated in popularity and usage over the years. Its immense popularity during times like the Warring States period can be seen by its use from everything from medicine, to astrology, to the calendar, to music, to science, and even politics (Maciocia 1989:16). As pointed out by Sivin: “As in Europe before modern science, much Chinese medical language was borrowed from common speech” (1987:43). Yin-Yang arose earlier, with references dating back to the Zhou dynasty (circ. 100-770 BC), with the Five Element coming later—still dating back as far as the Warring States Period (476-221 BC). The emergence of these theories marks a transition in medical philosophy as he “beginning of what one might call “scientific” medicine and a departure from Shamanism” (Maciocia 1989:16). Healing was no longer conceptualized as purely supernatural but reasoned. Healers no longer looked for a supernatural cause of disease as “they now observe Nature and, with a combination of inductive and deductive method, they set out to find patterns within it and, by extension, apply these in the interpretation of disease” (1989:16). The significance of the theories is embedded in their representation of different qualities of natural phenomena. Maciocia cautions that the theories do have their limitations. “The basic limitation lies in the fact that the 5- Element model of correspondences became a rigid model of relationships between individual parts, and, in the process of fitting everything into a 5-fold classification, many assumptions and far- fetched correlations had to be made” (1989:26). The Five Elements create a one-to-one system of correlations between phenomena—i.e. Liver-eyes, Kidney-ears, and Spleen-muscles. While useful, it must be utilized with recognition of its limitations. While such correlations are useful in clinical practice, the essence of CM “is to see the whole disharmony and weave a pattern of various signs and symptoms” (1989:26). Maciocia again notes that there are contrasts in the patterns of various theories within Chinese medicine in that “one part could be related to a certain organ in the presence of a certain pattern, but to another organ in
  17. 17. 17 the presence of a different pattern” (1989:26). Some characterization therefore lies outside of these models. 2.2. Establishing Chinese Medicine as a System of Knowledge—A Detailed Orientation to Relevant Medical Theories With Yin-Yang and Five Element theories established as knowledge systems and functional models of human body interaction—limitations an all—we now set forth to give a detailed overview of each theory. Liu beautifully summarizes the complexity of the Chinese medical understanding of human health: “Traditional Chinese medicine has a way of thinking called ‘one dividing into two.’ The human body can be divided into two without end—into pairs of opposing forces, functions, or parts… These pairs, in opposition to each other, each explain the functioning of the whole organism. If one pair were separated from the whole, it would no longer possess its original functional properties (Liu 1995:9) While complete formal assessment of every intricate detail of such an infinitely complex system of interactions is equally as impossible, achieving global understanding of the unified whole by metaphoric extension is not only possible it’s very evident in Chinese medicine. Eisenberg strengthens this assertion with his statement about Chinese eight parameters theory: “A patient’s symptoms and physical examination (tongue, pulse, etc.) enable the traditional doctor to recognize a pattern of illness in terms of ‘the eight parameters.’ This then becomes a diagnosis. Pneumonia might be called ‘an excess of heat in the ‘lung’ with a deficiency of Qi.’ Subsequent treatment with herbs or needles or diet would aim to correct this imbalance” (1995:56). Sivin refers to an ancient Chinese medical entitled Mental Dharmas of Eruptive Disorders to illustrate the understanding of Chinese Medicine as a system of pattern representation: Medicine” [yi] means “meaning” [yi]. [The inner meanings of medicine, the patterns of vital processes] may be apprehended by the mind, but cannot be transmitted in words. Because these inherent patterns attain such arcane subtlety [weiao], even though the mind may achieve great constancy [in contemplating them], in [therapeutic] doctrine there can be no fixed rules. The interaction of hot and moist as governed by yin and yang, the relations of mutual production and overcoming among the Five Phases [Five Elements], change from one moment to the next…” (1995:181). While it is noted that these patterns may not be capable of being solely “transmitted” through language, it is their linguistic—and ultimately cognitive— modelling that makes them accessible to representation and global understanding by the embodied mind. It is through linguistically manifest conceptual structure that these patterns are understood and transmitted between individuals. It is upon the recognition of these linguistic manifestations of cognitive models that we set forth to analyze the complex conceptual networks created in Chinese medicine to represent universal patterns of interaction. 2.2.1. A Brief Note on Translations In speaking of Chinese medicine, it is necessary to note that all information comes originally from the Chinese. This poses big challenges and dilemmas when choosing the most appropriate representation for different Chinese characters. Special consideration must be given to both how each lexical item is
  18. 18. 18 spelled and also to how each item provides access to the knowledge network. 2.2.2. Qi Qi—also sometimes ch’i— is a vast subject in and of itself. This is a foundational concept in the understanding the complex interactions involved in the Yin-Yang and Five Element patterns of interaction. It is roughly comparable to Western understanding of energy or other “forces,” and is often translated as “vital energy.” It is something that has no direct counterpart in everyday Western understanding. An entire book was written on the dilemma of translating this word into English—where it has no solid counterpart (Yu, Zhang, Rose 2001). Fortunately, Yu briefly illustrates metaphoric extension of the concept qi in Chinese. He Shows that the abstract concept of courage is structured in part by the conceptual metaphor “COURAGE IS QI (GASEOUS VITAL ENERGY) IN GALLBLADDER,” where the metaphor is motivated by a culturally situated concept of human body organs that posits “GALLBLADDER IS CONTAINER OF COURAGE” (2003b:14). He further asserts the deep-seated, experientially motivated concepts of human body function—“Linguistic evidence suggests that both of these conceptual metaphors exist in the core of the Chinese cultural model for the concept of courage. Both of them can be traced down to their deeper roots in the theory of internal organs of traditional Chinese medicine that offers a unique perspective of the functions of the gallbladder.” (Yu 2003b:14). Sivin points out that until recently there was no separation conceptions of energy and matter: “This is not a sign of deficient curiosity, but of a tendency (like that of the Stoics of the West) to think of stuff and its transformations in a unitary way” and qi may be defined as “‘what makes things happen’ or ‘stuff’ in which things happen” (Sivin 1987:47). It is both substance and activity: “Qi has many faces in traditional Chinese medicine. The predominant one is a rarefied substance that is constantly in motion. The movement of qi is literally the activity of life. At the same time, because it is a substance, qi is also viewed as one of the fundamental materials for the construction of the body.” (Liu 1995:69). It is this “vital substance” or “activity of life” that is understood to represent all material substance and patterns of interaction—including the Yin-Yang Cycle and the Five Element sequences. 2.2.3. Yin-Yang Yin-Yang can most basically understood as the two extremes involved in a dialectic system of complementary opposites, in which opposite forces are both unified and the underlying cause of change (Liu 1995:32). Obvious examples of Yang and Yin are: light/dark; hot/cold; sun/moon; up/down; activity/rest; left/right; time/space; South/North. Yin and Yang also represent aspects of natural movement between opposing complements—of both objects and phenomena. They can be two separate opposing objects or phenomena, or they can be poles of opposition within a single unitary object or phenomena. They are also mutually dependent in that you can’t have one without the other, and together they create unity. This interaction is characterized by a constant state of motion as Yin and Yang are not static, but dynamic aspects of every object and natural phenomena. “The consumption of yang leads to a supporting (or gaining) of yin, while the consumption of yin results in a supporting (or gaining) of yang.” (Liu 1995:35). Sivin compares this system of correspondences to Western views of physics as follows: Any number of paired qualities or opposed functions could be applied to almost any continuum in Nature to demarcate significant aspects and explore their interaction. We might think of all
  19. 19. 19 these pairs as instances of a completely general pair, an opposed but complementary x and y for which any pair could be substituted in its appropriate concrete situation. Yang and yin as scientific and medical concepts were precisely that x and y. They were the abstract foundation upon which a metaphysics could be distilled out of the multiplicity of physical situations, a metaphysics that remained applicable to all of them… Any statement that involves complementary opposites can be translated into the language of yin and yang. (Sivin 1987:61) Sivin also suggests that Yin and Yang are best understood as latent and active phases of any process in space and time. It is interesting to point out here the blended conceptualization of “real” and “imaginary” numbers utilized by modern mathematical theory—as described by Fauconnier. An extended cross-space mapping links real and imaginary numbers to points in two-dimensional space. The seed for this mapping is the pre-existing projection of numbers onto one-dimensional space (the “line” going from - ∞ to + ∞ [negative infinity to positive infinity]. A generic space contains the more abstract structure common to the domains of space and numbers. In the language of twentieth- century mathematics, this generic space is a communicative ring. Selective projection operates from the inputs into the blend, which inherits both spatial and arithmetic structure. (Fauconnier 1997:167) While such a mathematical model may not be exactly similar to Chinese medicine, it is suggested that such a model of “formal” analysis—based on conceptual blending of infinite extremes—is not so different from the vastly complex system of metaphoric extensions which Chinese Yin-Yang theory accepts as a valid “level of truth.” Such a correlation might also provide further insight into modelling the Yin-Yang cycle as a fundamental system of patterned interaction. This metaphorically extended model of cosmological patterns has ancient roots. Yin and Yang were first mentioned in the I Ching, which dates back to around 700BC. A recent conversation with Gilles Fauconnier reaffirmed my belief in the relevance of applying conceptual blending theory to these Chinese theories. He told me that someone at the cognitive linguistics conference in Nanjing, China just a few months ago— where the Chinese Cognitive Linguistics association was established—suggested that he look into the Book of Changes. The relevance—and irony—is that the Book of Changes is the English translation of the I Ching. In this ancient document, Yin and Yang are represented by broken and unbroken lines respectively (see Fig. Y). The pattern of their continual intertransformation is represented most basically by a circle with four pairs of broken and unbroken lines arranged at four points. It is according to this simple arrangement in a cyclic pattern that they are most typically conceptualized. Characteristic examples are the cyclic day and the seasonal year. As can be seen from figure Y, both the cyclic day and the seasonal year correspond conceptually in each phase of their transition between extremes. Sunrise and spring are representative of increasing Yang on the midpoint between Yin and Yang. Each of these phases is characterized by increasing activity and movement, rising temperatures, and increasing sunlight. Then, during the extreme Yang phase of the cycle, summer and mid-day (noon) represent maximum light, peak
  20. 20. 20 temperatures and high levels of activity and movement. Each phase of the cycle also represents a vast category of additional correspondences. While these prototypical cycles are the most manifestly observable patterns of the Yin-Yang cycle, their system of interactions goes far beyond such surface level representations. The Yin-Yang cycle represents all patterns of interaction involved in the intertransformation of complementary extremes. This cycle has normal conditions of balance and restraint. The Yin-Yang pattern of interaction and change continues harmoniously when in balance, but once out of balance it can cause excess or insufficiency of either force. Balance within this system is represented more intricately by the Five Element patterns of interaction. While all systems are seen as arising from the interaction between Yin-Yang, the Five Element sequences are used as a means of modelling the intricate details of patterned interaction within these created systems.
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. 22 2.2.4. The Five Elements The “Five Elements” are wu xing—or hsing—in Chinese. These “wu xing” are a subdivision of the same patterns of interaction that Yin-Yang characterize. Sivin points out that “yin-yang and the Five Phases [Elements] are not two kinds of activity, but two ways of thinking about the same process and the vitality or force that drives it.” (Sivin 1987:78). “The ch’i of sky and earth unite to become one. Divided they become yin and yang; subdivided, the four seasons; set out in order (lieh), the Five Phases [Elements].” The Five Elements are therefore utilized as a way to set up the correspondences within the systematic patterns of interaction—as set up by Yin-Yang intertransformation—“set out in order.” The Five Elements are: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. Their qualities and the states of natural phenomena of which they are representative are listed as follows: Qualities Inherent Qualities and States of Natural Phenomena Water moistens downward Wood represents expansive, outward movement in all directions Fire flares upward Metal represents contractive, inward movement Wood can be bent and straightened Water represents downward movement Metal can be moulded and can harden Fire represents upward movement Earth permits sowing, growing, and reaping Earth represents neutrality or stability (direct quotes Maciocia 1998:17) However, while the Five Element interactions represent observable characteristics of natural phenomena they are not as obviously manifest in the natural environment as the Yin-Yang cycle. “In contrast to the dualism underlying the yin-yang doctrine, the pentic numerology of the five-agents doctrine lacks an obvious antecedent in man’s natural environment” (Unschuld 2003:99). The most common correspondences are morphological entities of man (the organs and orifices), characteristics of living or dead substances (colors, flavors, tones, and odors), and man’s geographic and temporal environment (cardinal directions and seasons) (Unschuld 2003:106). What the Five Elements provide is a more detailed model of analyzing the intricate patterns of interaction, processes, and functioning within the more obvious system. “In analyzing processes or configurations into five aspects—particularly when reflecting on sequences of change—the names of the Five Phases [Elements] are more common than mature yang, “central house,” and the other yin-yang terms” (Sivin 1987:78). In the few preceding quotes by Sivin, it can be seen that the “Five Elements”—or wu xing—are not always termed such by Chinese scholars and doctors. An in-depth discussion of the translational issues behind the Chinese “wu xing” should provide a detailed overview of the concepts underlying the systems theory to which this lexical item provides access in Chinese medicine. While “wu” very obviously means five, “xing” cannot be directly translated as “element.” Xing in Chinese implies action and movement, and may be better translated as a “phase” of a cycle. Because of this difficulty various scholars and doctors feel it is more appropriate to translate the Chinese wu xing either as “Five Phases” (Sivin) or “Five Agents” (Unschuld). Though, the term “Five Elements” remains perhaps the most commonly used—and most widely entrenched—translation of the Chinese “wu xing.” Though, even when utilizing the term “element,” the xing are never thought of as actual material substance or “elements” on a periodic
  23. 23. 23 table. Even when referred to as elements, they still refer to parts of organized patterns of interaction. Confusion arose in the 1600’s when Jesuit missionaries realized the vague similarity between the Chinese xing and the Greek elements and sought to prove the scientific superiority of the later. The xing were mistakenly thought to represent “an element, perfectly pure” (Sivin 1989:73,74). This crude translation was hugely mistaken as Chinese philosophers had never claimed “that hsing are pure substances,” or that they were responsible for the production of all material things and phenomena (Siving 1989:73,74). “Thus Matteo Ricci, in the first Jesuit treatise on cosmology (1608), argued that “since a hsing is what produces all things and phenomena, it must be an element, perfectly pure. It must be that nothing is mixed with it, nothing contained in it except itself.” He proceeded to demonstrate that by this definition the Chinese Five Elements are inconsistent, illogical, and inferior to the European four elements (Sivin 1989:73,74). This conception of the wu xing was completely mistaken, as the Chinese xing “do not extend past the surface of the ideas” in relation to the Greek elements (Sivin 1987:73). As noted by Sivin, Joseph Needham also recognized this translational issue almost half a century ago. Needham explains that the xing was not as five variations of fundamental matter, but as five parts of fundamental processes (Needham et al. 1954:II 243-44). The key idea is relations, not substance. Though, after about 400 years of usage, the term “Five Elements” has become so widely used and entrenched that it is hard to change. Xing actually means “to do, to act, to move on, to set in motion; action, activity, motion,” etc. (Sivin 1987:74). Sivin looks to an important document—dating back to around 80 A.D.—where xing is understood as representing the ordered natural activity of qi, and another source—the Shin ming (Explanation of Names)—that provides a clear definition on the matter: “Wu hsing means what is carried out by the five ch’i, each in its own domain.” (Sivin 1987:74-75). So, according to such an understanding the five xing are labels for five types of activity. Sivin refers to the philologist Ch’en Meng-chia’s recognition of the role of Wu Xing— almost one hundred years ago now—not as five static material substances, but as representative of the cyclic flow within a system. Sivin also notes that “The wu hsing name five types of ch’i that interact in an ordered way to make up spatial or temporal configurations (that is, complex phenomena extended in space or time). The process to which they are most usually applied is, as Ch’en’s emphasis indicates, the temporal cycle, whether of body functions, celestial motions, or political changes” (Sivin 1987:75). Sivin refers once more to one of the leading contemporary authors on traditional medical theories—Jen Ying- ch’iu—as stating: “Wu hsing simply means the cyclical activity (yun-hsing…) of five ch’i.” (as cited in Sivin 1987:75). These five “qi” are then not chemical or physical substances, but five activities or processes that drive a process or substances that change in character. Most basically, they characterize the cyclic activity within a system. Again Sivin says it best: “To sum up, wu hsing theory provides a language for analysis of configurations into five functionally distinct parts or aspects. The names of the phases refer both to these spatial and cyclic relations and to the energies, the ch’i, that make them possible, maintain them and guide their change. In other words, the Five Phases do what yin- yang does, but with finer divisions, analyzing into five aspects instead of two. Both are sets of labels for ch’i” (Sivin 1987:75). 2.2.5. The Importance of Motion Conceptualization in Chinese Medicine Levinson—in his extensive work on human cognitive functions and conceptualization of spatial orientation and movement—notes the importance of frames in conceptualizing motion. “Although direction of motion can thus be described without recourse to frames of reference, in fact frames of reference are frequently
  24. 24. 24 employed in motion description.” (2003:97). An example of this would be route descriptions utilizing descriptions like take your first left, then turn right at the light—where the frame of reference is based on the intrinsic reference of the one following the directions. The theories of Yin-Yang and Five Elements within Chinese medicine act in a similar manner to frame patterns of motion—while also employing the elaborate tool of metaphorical extension. 2.2.6. Reaffirming Yin-Yang and Five-Element patterns of interaction as Systems Theories So, what these models represent are systems theories of universal structural qualities inherent in all patterns of interaction. All systems within all objects and phenomena throughout the universe are understood as possessing structural qualities and patterns of interaction. These interactions produce continual states of internal motion, with predictable patterns of interaction. “Hence, it is possible to use analogy to understand any system; that is, it is possible to use the obvious qualities of one system to describe the less obvious or hidden qualities of another” (Liu 1995:48). In using such systems of analogical—and metaphorical—extension, “…the ancient Chinese used the five basic materials familiar in everyday life to symbolize the behavior of all objects and phenomena in nature” (Liu 1995:48). Each of the elements represents a particular pattern of motion within the system. “By analogy to one of these elements, the characteristic movement of any object of phenomena can be identified” (Liu 1995:48). They also describe patterns of interaction within the system—both balanced and imbalanced. “The theory of the five elements is thus, above all, a study of motion” (Liu 1995:49). 2.2.7. Recognition of Metaphoric Extension These ways of characterizing patterned systems of motion and interaction are obviously complex systems of metaphorical extension. Whether or not such systems really exist exactly as is claimed or not is of little concern in this study. Arguments on the verifiable “reality” of such knowledge systems is not extremely relevant, except to say that modelling such systems should show that they represent a consistent “level of reality” consistent with cognitive theories. As pointed out by Lakoff and Johnson, cognitive science is physicalist—ascribing to an ultimate material basis in the body and brain for the scientifically real conceptual entities themselves—, but it is not eliminitavist—assuming that the only things that are “real” are physically existing entities. As alluded to with Fauconnier’s example of numeric representation of “real” and “imaginary” numbers, computational numbers don’t have to be individually “real” in order to represent a relative value in physical reality—i.e. -2 may not actually “exist” in physical reality, but it represents a very “real,” and necessary, conceptualization of certain values that can be consistently represented in equations. Other conceptual entities—like the element correspondences—are just as neurally “real” from a physicalist perspective. So what counts as real…? According to Lakoff and Johnson, “[t]he only kinds of nonphysical entities and structures taken as ‘real are those that are hypothesized on the basis of convergent evidence and that are required for scientific explanation” (1999:114-115). Conceptual entities utilized for systematic representation of natural patterns are therefore just as “real.” Conceptual integration networks and metaphors are also just as “real.” Cognitive science understands everyday subjective embodied experience as automatically and unconsciously linked to our abstract conceptual system through primary metaphor—as mentioned earlier. This abstract conceptual system has an inherent literal skeleton that gets “fleshed out” through
  25. 25. 25 metaphorical extensions of embodied experience. The primary function of metaphor then is to project patterns of inference from the source domain of embodied experience to the target domain of the abstract conceptual system. Cognitive science also recognizes that it is through such metaphorical thought that scientific theorizing is even possible, as both our reason and our conceptual structure are shaped by embodied experience of the world. According to Lakoff and Johnson: “Reason and concepts are therefore not transcendent, that is, not utterly independent of the body” (1999:128). This singles out the fact that all scientific reasoning is shaped by our embodied experience and relies upon such experience to frame abstract concepts. Chinese medical theories are part of a complex system of such scientific reasoning. One major difference is that Chinese philosophy openly embraces, and relies upon, this realization. What metaphoric extensions of Chinese scientific philosophy represent are systems of events, motion, and forces. 2.3. Causation—Self-Limiting Western Perspectives Before moving on toward mapping the cognitive framework of the Chinese medical theories at hand it is highly relevant to point out a key difference in how the patterns of interaction which Chinese philosophy observe are different from those of Western medical philosophy. While Western medicine seeks to pinpoint precise causal chains, Chinese medicine is more concerned with the balance of infinite systems of causal relations. “In the early Chinese sciences, by contrast, where generation and transformation are intrinsic to existence, fixity and stasis occur only as a result of concerted action and therefore demand explanation; motion and change are a given and seldom need be explained with reference to their causes” (Farquhar 1994:25). Appropriately, the views of cognitive science seem more in line with Chinese philosophy in many ways than with Western objectivist views. Lakoff and Johnson point out that the traditional objectivist view is that causation is usually assumed to be something in the objective world that exists independent of our conceptualization. In the view of traditional objectivism, causes are causes—no matter how we conceptualize them—and “conceptualizing something as a cause doesn’t make it one” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:170). Events, causes, changes, states, actions, and purposes are seen as existing objectively independent from subjective judgment—taken to be literally real, not metaphorical. The embodied view, on the other hand, is that causal conceptualization arises from human biology. Event structures are conceptualized through metaphoric extension of embodied experience—e.g. self-propelled motion and force. Abstract patterns of interaction are understood through extension of body-based patterns of interaction. There is therefore no single literal concept of causation that is representative of all causal inferences. Lakoff and Johnson recognize that causal reasoning absolutely depends upon extended causal metaphors (1999:171- 73). They also note that Narayanan found that all events—both concrete and abstract; bodily and external world events—are structured in terms of embodied motion and interaction (1999:176). A cause is therefore understood as being “a determining factor for a situation” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:177). Each situation is representative of a state, a change, a process, or an action. If we can’t point to a “cause” or any other necessary information we have no way of actually concluding that a given situation even happened or existed. Lakoff and Johnson also point out that causation, then, cannot be captured through a single logic or taken as an objectively independent feature of the world (1999:226). However, causation is understood to exist—it’s just situated, with determining factors only asserted as “real” within certain situational contexts. Determining factors of causation can be conceptualized either literally or through metaphorical extension. Metaphorical conceptualizations are usually chosen
  26. 26. 26 with situationally appropriate logic—with the metaphor being utilized to make claims about such determining factors. Each causal “truth” is also relative. Claims of causation are only “true” relative to our understanding of the situation—whether literal or metaphorical. Forces are equally as metaphorically conceptualized. According to scientific realism force—“which is equal to mass times acceleration”—is taken to be mere mathematical fiction, not a physical entity that literally “exists” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:227). According to Einstein’s theory of relativity—which challenged Newtonian calculations of gravity— conceptualizes gravitational “force” as actually being a space-time curvature upon which objects move along a geodesic and there is no actual “pull” of gravity (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:228). The literalist view poses that holding to literal existence of gravity is like denying that the earth turns around the sun, but rather that the sun “literally” rises and sets around the earth (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:229). So, the big question: Is gravity a “force” that actually “exists” or is it really just a matter of space-time curvature? Such seemingly opposing views are not mutually exclusive alternative views. These theories are all metaphorically extended. Taken literally, each theory poses the non-existence of force and causation. Though, taken metaphorically they allow for causation and force to “exist” from an everyday perspective. The “truth” is therefore situational, and an embodied approach allows for various perspectives to hold as “true.” These forces are conceptualized in terms of direct human agency (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:230,231). Our conceptual system is organized around this human agency and function within our environment. Elements of direct human agency serve to ground our conceptualization of causal concepts and interactions. Characteristic examples of such human agency are: “pushing, pulling, hitting, throwing, lifting, giving, taking, and so on—” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:231). So, does causation exist? Lakoff and Johnson also point out that there is no single unified objective phenomenon of “causation” existing in the mind- independent world (1999:232-233). Our world is not “mind- independent,” as both language and thought are intertwined with embodied experience of the “objective” world. Even Western physics utilizes embodied human concepts and human language in order to conceptualize the “mind-independent world” which it holds to exist. So again, does causation exist? Well—e.g.—“He punched me in the arm. He caused me pain.” On a direct physical level, “Yes, causation exists” (1999:232,233). Beyond the directly observable world of physical interactions, further correspondence and causal relations becomes infinitely more complex. This difficulty extends toward both extremes of the spectrum—both the microuniverse (e.g. elementary particles) and the macrouniverse (e.g. black holes). Basic-level concepts of middle-level physical experience fail us in attempting to conceptualize opposite infinites. The extension of conceptual metaphor is absolutely necessary in conceptualizing both extremes of the infinite spectrum. Literal notions of causation fail in conceptualization at the micro and macro levels and rely upon extension of conceptual metaphor. “In short, the question ‘Does causation exist?’ is not a simpleminded yes-or-no question. It drastically oversimplifies something that we have seen is massively complex” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:234). Chinese realizes the infinitely complex nature of “causation” and seeks not to isolate individual causes, but to achieve global understanding the whole system.
  27. 27. 27 2.4. Toward Mapping the Cognitive Framework of Chinese Medical Philosophies of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements through Conceptual Blending Networks 2.4.1. System Applications within Chinese Medicine As mentioned earlier, the Five Elements are applied to a vast range of correspondences in Chinese Medicine. Five major areas to which they are applied are: physiology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, and dietary and herbal therapy. We only mention these here briefly due to the relatively small size of the case study at hand—which allows only for modelling the core of the theories themselves and situating them for future extension to the correspondences. There are numerous patterns of interaction between the Five Elements—Generating Sequence, Controlling Sequence, Cosmological Sequence, Overacting Sequence, and Insulting Sequence—but we are going to be primarily concerned with the first two, as they outline the primary pattern of interactions within the system. The Cosmological sequence is also of some significance in that it provides key insights into the extension of Yin-Yang to the Five Elements, and also numerical ordering. The last two—Overacting and Insulting—are patterns of imbalance that contradict the normally balanced patterns established by the Generating and Controlling sequences and will not modeled in this study, except that they follow the same patterns respectively. Each of these correspondences are compressed into these patterns of interaction according to their associated element, and therefore interacts with the other correspondences accordingly. Due to the relatively small scope of this case study we will only be extending these patterns to one prototypical category—the Zhang Organs—and one open variable space—X—by which other correspondence categories can be aligned with the Five Element patterns of interaction and compressed into a functional blend. 2.4.2. “Levels of Truth” and Chinese Medicine Lakoff and Johnson explain that embodied understanding is central in all aspects of meaning and the structure of thought (1999:78). They go on to assert that evidence shows that systematic correlations are made across conceptual domains and that conventional mappings are alive—not dead! These systematically established mappings “are psychologically real… and we think using them” (1999:86-87). It is upon such evidence that they build a case for the “reality” of conceptual structures and the nature of our embodied shaping of the “objective world.” They also “reject the simpleminded ideas that all science is purely objective” and also “the myths that science provides the ultimate means of understanding everything and that humanistic knowledge has no standing relative to anything that calls itself science” (1999:89). All knowledge structures are inevitably influenced and shaped by interactions with our surroundings. They do, however, point out that the view of embodied scientific realism is that a world does exist independently of our understanding of it, and we can have a stable knowledge of it, but this it is inevitably shaped by the types of bodies and biological constructs that we possess. (1999:89). They also point out that Descartes posed a gap between the mind and the brain—with the mind not in touch with the world (1999:94,95,99). This perspective situated ideas as internal representations of external reality and maximized the mind-world gap through “maximally arbitrary” symbol-system realism— correlation between things in the world and the symbols that represent them. Embodied realism provides the means by which the gap between the mind and reality can be closed. This approach is closer to the realism of ancient Greek philosophy and is distinctly different from “the disembodied representational realism of Cartesian and analytic philosophy, which is fundamentally separated from the world” (1999:95). Based upon such a system of
  28. 28. 28 understanding, we evolve bodily to integrate and function within our environment—denying the philosophy of only one “true” description of the world. This establishes a philosophy of embodied realism through which directly embodied concepts are extended to abstract theoretical domains to provide “an account of how real, stable knowledge, both in science and the everyday world, is possible” (1999:96). A key insight of embodied relativism is that concepts change over time, and it provides the mechanisms for characterizing such change, variation, and multiplicity. A key mechanism for modelling such change and patterns of interaction and activity are conceptual blends. “Truth,” therefore, is absolutely dependent upon embodiment. Our bodies shape our understanding of the world on multiple levels. The first is the neural level, in which conceptual structure is directly dependent upon the types of biological structures we have biologically. The phenomenological level is the level of appearance and “feel” of experience and “consists of everything we can be aware of,” whether or not it is accessible to our conscious (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:102-103). Such an understanding poses a dilemma regarding “levels of truth.” The classical correspondence theory of truth claims that truth at different levels may contradict each other. The obvious examples are color and the pattern of sunrise/sunset. On the phenomenological level color is perceived as being “in” objects, whereas on a neurophysiological level scientists would explain that color is actually a reflection perceived by color cones and neural circuitry and not actually “in” the cup. Sunrise/ sunset is different in that we perceive the sun as actually “rising” and “setting” around the earth, whereas we scientifically know that it is actually the earth actually rotates around the sun. These seemingly contradictory explanations represent “levels of truth” according to embodied scientific realism and show that what is “true” on one level may contradict a fundamental “truth” on another level (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:104-105). Truth is ultimately dependent upon framing and is therefore of special interest to cognitive science. “The question of what we take truth to be is therefore a matter for cognitive science because it depends on the nature of human understanding” (Lakoff and Johnson 1999:108). “One single truth” is understood to be an illusion from the perspective of embodied realism and “truths” are accepted as being valid on multiple levels—allowing for many correct descriptions based on level of embodiment. Understanding of is situated and “real” constructs are taken to be “an ontological commitment to a scientific theory and therefore can be used to make predictions and can function in explanations” (1999:109). Of high relevance here is the stance on the conceptualization of “energy” and “charge” from the perspective of Western physics where “[n]either can be directly observed, but both play a crucial role in explanation and prediction” (1999:109). Neural computation and conceptual structures are just as real. Conceptualization of interaction patterns in Chinese medicine seems to be just as “real” as any of the aforementioned. Medical systems are also compressed models of understanding universal objective patterns of interaction and have access to varying “levels of truth”. David Eisenberg points out different medical systems vary in structure, they all work to understand the same objectively independent patterns of universally consistent interaction. “The Chinese and Western medical models are like two frames of reference in which identical phenomena are studied. Neither frame of reference provides an unobstructed view of health and illness. Each is incomplete and in need of refinement” (Eisenberg 1995:237). Sivin goes on to assert “[t]he pattern one discerns may or may not be objectively there, but that is no more than to say that one may be empirically right or wrong” (Sivin 1995:185).
  29. 29. 29 2.5. Introduction to Conceptual Blending Theory 2.5.1. Basic Principles In his work Mental Spaces, Fauconnier highlights the function of mental spaces in reference to one level of scientific inquiry. “At one level of scientific inquiry, ‘mental spaces’ and related notions examined in our work are clearly theoretical constructs devised to model high-level cognitive organization” (1994:xxxii). It is these mental spaces that make conceptual blending between dissonant ideas possible. These mental spaces are “small conceptual packets [of information] constructed as we think and talk, for purposes of local understanding and action” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:40). Each of these spaces is connected to frames from long-term schematic knowledge. An example of this would be the outline of what deems an action “walking on a path.” These spaces are also connected to specific long-term knowledge—i.e. a memory of a specific time that you climbed Camelback Mountain five years ago. The elements of specific interest in this mental space are you, Camelback Mountain, and the time frame of five years ago. This is just an example of one mental space. A conceptual blend incorporates several mental spaces and results in a new emergent structure that is not present in any of the spaces individually. An example provided by Fauconnier and Turner is the riddle of the Buddhist monk from Arthur Koestler’s The Act of Creation. This riddle poses a scenario of a Buddhist monk who walks to the top of a mountain, meditates for several days, then walks back down. The riddle: “Is there a place on the path that the monk occupies at the same hour of the day on the two separate journeys?” (as cited in Fauconnier and Turner 2002:39). In an analysis of the complex blending involved in solving this riddle, we can see two separate input spaces. The first space contains the first day with the monk going up the mountain, while the second space contains the descent of the monk on the second day. All the spaces are framed as the action of walking up and down a mountain. The blend contains the monk meeting himself in the same space on the same mountain in a hypothetical time frame. Such a blend is not possible in the material world, but our imaginative processes allow us to create a conceptual blend that allows for such a scenario in our minds. Mental spaces involved in such a blend are represented by circle and is framed according to relevant structural qualities— like the scene of a man on a mountain. Inside these mental spaces are individual highlighted elements of information that are necessary to connect the spaces—i.e. the monk, the mountain, the space(s) occupied each day, etc. These elements are represented by dots, icons, or lexical items in the blend. Connections between elements are represented by lines. There are three primary types of spaces involved in conceptual blends: input, generic, and blend. The input spaces represent framed spaces for each counterfactual by which information is brought into the blend—i.e. day 1, day 2. Individual elements—counterparts—in these input spaces are connected via cross-space mappings. The generic space maps what the inputs have in common. In the Buddhist monk blend the generic space contains “a moving individual,” “his position, a path linking foot and summit of the mountain, a day of travel, and motion in an unspecified direction” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:40). Relevant information from the input spaces gets projected into the blend, creating an emergent structure that is not in either of the inputs—i.e. the monk meeting himself. Several factors govern this emergent structure. The first is composition. “[C]omposition of elements from the inputs makes relations available in the blend that do not exist in the separate inputs” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:40). Completion then brings in additional familiar structure into the blend and the blend itself can then become “a salient part of the background frame”—i.e. “two people starting a journey at the same time from opposite ends of a path” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:40). This blend is now
  30. 30. 30 integrated in that it has become “an instance of a particular frame”—i.e. “the frame of two people walking on a path in opposite directions.” These complete, integrated blends are then available for imaginative elaboration. While the operations of the blend are principled and limited, they allow for an infinite range of creative simulations. These infinitely possible imaginative blends operate throughout all aspects of our lives—both mental operations and physical interaction. They are subject to continual modification and often become entrenched, “giving rise to conceptual and formal structures shared throughout the community” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:49,50). Other characteristic examples are the “desktop computer” and “computer virus.” Each example blends concepts from the domain of computers with experiential knowledge of our environment. Desktop computers are a blend of computer operations with functional knowledge about desktops—i.e. putting files in the trash. The computer virus is a blend of issues with computer dysfunction and biological viruses—i.e. they are relatively small in comparison with the overall system, and cause disruption of normal function. 2.5.2. Ultimate Goal of Conceptual Blending: Achieve Human Scale The ultimate goal of conceptual blending is to achieve human scale—as humans are evolved to deal with reality at human scale. “The human scale is the level at which it is natural for us to have the impression that we have direct, reliable, and comprehensive understanding” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:322-324). Conceptual blends serve to compress diffuse information from many spaces into one by strengthening key relations and creating one complete story and direction for all spaces involved. This creates a comfortable level of understanding and makes it easier to deal with. Blending conceptual information at human scale is what makes the feeling of global insight possible. 2.5.3. Visibility of Blending and Global Understanding One very powerful benefit of the creation of conceptual blends is global understanding. Fauconnier and Turner explain that “[t]he moment of tangible, global understanding comes when a network has been elaborated in such a way that it contains a solution that is delivered to consciousness” (2002:57). This moment of tangible global understanding is known as the “Eureka!” or “aha!” effect— the moment when global understanding of a complete unconsciously active system comes to conscious awareness. This is completely different from formal systems of analysis carried out step-by-step. In step-by-step analysis each step is done consciously, with no feeling of deep understanding of truth and most of the structure being lost at the moment of solution. Such a system concludes that the solution must be true because each step was carried out correctly, “even if we do not actually grasp why” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:57). Fauconnier and Turner suggest, “in the case of blending, at the moment of solution, the entire integration network is still active in the brain, even if
  31. 31. 31 unconsciously” (2002:57). It is such a global system of understanding that Chinese medicine is based. While Chinese medicine may seem to be contradictory because of the elaborate system of metaphorical extensions, the most important thing to the Chinese medical doctor is the “Eureka!” effect—global understanding of the complete system. Chinese doctors “pride themselves” on their individuality of style and their ability to achieve global coherence (Scheid 2002:13). Farquhar faced a dilemma when first experiencing this system firsthand while conducting her research in China. She noticed that the Chinese doctors placed more importance on global understanding of the complete system rather than lining up every single detail through step-by-step analysis. When observing contradictions between textbook examples and clinical scenarios she would ask how doctors know which statement or explanation is correct. The response that she repeatedly received: “We take experience to be our guide”—therefore being rebuked for her “literal-mindedness” (Farquhar 1994). This is because the ultimate goal of Chinese medicine is global understanding of the system as a whole—not getting caught up on the seemingly contradictory details of a step- by-step analysis. Scheid explains that “Chinese medicine and the heterogeneous elements that constitute it are best described as emergent global states, or synthesis, that are produced by local interactions of human and nonhuman elements, or infrastructures” (2002:13). 2.6. Accessing Belief Systems Through Language 2.6.1. Accessing Conceptual Structure Through Language While the patterns of interaction conceptualized by systems of knowledge are not purely “linguistic” in nature, it is the manifestation of such systems through language that they can be accessed, modeled, and analyzed. Chinese medicine is such a knowledge system that can be accessed linguistically. Hsu points out how Chinese medicine as a system is shaped through its social interaction and transmission as well. In doing so, she refers to the socialization of concepts in which such concepts are understood in different ways with varying levels of significance depending on the social contexts in which they are learned “Concepts become ‘socialised,’” being understood in different ways, with “different meanings, uses, and ‘performative significances’,” depending on the social contexts in which they are learned (1999:225). While the transmission of knowledge in Chinese Medicine—as in all academic and scientific contexts—relies on lexical information, the main objective is “non-verbal knowing” and rote learning. But again, specific concepts depend upon the way in which they are learned, and this learning relies heavily on linguistic transference of information. Chinese medicine also very openly asserts the authority of written texts. Scheid mentions: “My teachers in China never failed to impress on me that reading, writing, and memorizing are intrinsic aspects of medical practice” (2002:14). Systems of conceptualization can be accessed through language because language both encodes and reflects their structure. “According to cognitive linguists, language not only reflects conceptual structure, but can also give rise to conceptualization,” and “… the linguistic system both reflects the conceptualizing capacity, and in turn influences the nature of knowledge by virtue of the language-specific categories it derives” (Fauconnier and
  32. 32. 32 Turner 2002:101,102). It is the linguistic manifestation of such systems of knowledge and conceptualization that allows them to be modeled and available to conscious awareness. 2.6.2. The Cognitive Reality of Conceptual Blending and Chinese Medicine Conceptual blending in Chinese medicine—as in any complex system—is organized by different aspects of experience and spatial and temporal cognition. The blends have to be set up to draw upon analogues from the mental spaces to yield an integrated blend that contains more than the sum of its parts. Such blends make it possible to create matches that would not typically be made between items in the everyday world and give rise to new meaning and creative realizations. These blends can’t be run “in just any way, but must somehow run it in the way that is relevant to the purpose at hand” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002:20). This purpose must allow for utilizing information available in the blend to access inferences outside of the blend. This alignment of seemingly contradictory analogues within, and beyond, the blend may seem far-fetched when analyzed consciously, but this does not prevent their use as a means of conceptualizing complex ideas and scenarios unconsciously. Fauconnier and Turner point out that it doesn’t matter whether or not the blend is actually a possible scenario in the “real world,” as this very impossibility is what seems to give blends their vast potential for imaginative creativity. “Many blends are not only possible but also so compelling that they come to represent, mentally, a new reality, in culture, action, and science” (2002:21). These blends—whether real in the objective world or not—are neurologically real. Connection and activation of neurons in the brain allows concepts to be joined on a neurologically real level. These neurological connections create the potential for vast networks of imaginative integration. The information passed through these networks is what manifests consciously and is accessible as functional knowledge for interaction with the physical world and linguistic expression of conceptualization. “Words themselves are part of activation patterns” and serve as points of access to this vast network of embodied conceptual structure. 2.7. Why Apply Conceptual Blending Theory to Chinese Medical Philosophy So, why apply conceptual blending theory to Chinese medical philosophy? As mentioned before, conceptual blending theory has been applied to everything from cartoons and humour (Coulson 2005), to math (Lakoff and Nunez 2000), to magic, ritual, and religion (Sorensen; Sweetser 2000) to molecular genetics (John Sung In prep.) and even Chinese philosophy (Slingerland 2005). But no attempts are known of that apply conceptual blending theory to theories of Yin-Yang and Five Elements in Chinese medical science. The only work that has even briefly touched on the subject is Yu Ning’s utilization of conceptual metaphor theory to look as ideas of emotion and qi conceptualization in Chinese— with special attention to Yin-Yang and Five Elements. Again we point out that Yu asserts that “these theories form a cognitive or cultural model underlying the metaphorical conceptualization in Chinese” (1995:59). Such a recognition of the theories of Yin- Yang and Five Elements in Chinese medicine as metaphorically extended systems of embodied understanding establishes the relevance of case study that models the complex blending involved in their operation and application.
  33. 33. 33 3. ANALYSIS 3.1. The Integration Network in Chinese Medical Theory— Yin-Yang and the Five Element Patterns of Interaction In keeping with the principles of cognitive science and embodied realism, this case study is not an assertion of the absolute nature of one individual way to represent the cognitive framework underlying the vast networks of encyclopaedic information established by Chinese medical philosophy, but rather to begin work toward laying a foundation for a solid representative model of such systems of information from the perspective of conceptual blending theory and cognitive science. As outlined previously, this system is characterized not by reductionist step-by-step process analysis, but rather by global access to the entire system. It is upon this realization that we set forth to gain key insights into how this system of “global insight” is achieved at human scale, by compression of infinitely complex systems of interactions into human scale. 3.2. The Foundation: Yin-Yang Cycle—Creation of Cosmological Systems (Figs. 1-2b) As explained previously, the Yin-Yang Cycle is understood in Chinese philosophy as a continuous universal pattern of the intertransformation between complementary dualities. This cycle is present everywhere throughout the universe, from the most observably understood to the most abstractly complex. While this process is present in everything, it is most directly understood in reference to embodied experience. It is the metaphoric extension of embodied concepts that make the Yin-Yang accessible to global coherence at human scale. There are a few characteristic cycles understood through embodied experience that provide the means by which the Yin-Yang cycle can be globally understood on human scale. The two most readily understood cycles that we will look at are the cyclic day and seasonal year. Each of these cycles provides a characteristic example with key insights into the Yin- Yang cycle of intertransformation. The two other cycles of change that will provide further insight are the cardinal directions and phenomenological motion. The cardinal directions provide a way to project the Yin-Yang cycle onto spatial orientation. The phenomenological motion cycle of transition is a very crucial pattern of interaction for extension of the Yin-Yang cycle to the Five Element patterns and beyond. The following figures provide a blending analysis of how these four patterns of interaction are compressed into the Yin-Yang cycle. Figure 1 provides a network blend of the various spaces, while figures 1a and 1b provide more specific information on content between the closely connected spaces, and figure 1c elaborates the network blend by connecting lexical information from each space. 3.2.1. Figure 1—Blend 1: Yin-Yang Network Figure 1 establishes the link between embodied experience and the Yin-Yang cycle by modelling the network between the Yin-Yang cycle, cyclic day, seasonal year, cardinal directions, and phenomenological motion. Each of these cycles are compressed to fit the representative Yin-Yang cycle as illustrated by the diagram of broken and unbroken lines—the Yin-Yang cycle outlined previously. Elements of both time and space are compressed in order to represent all potential cosmological cycles. The cyclic day and cardinal directions are aligned with the Yin-Yang cycle in generic space 124 and the seasons and cardinal directions are aligned with the Yin-Yang cycle in generic space 235, with both being compressed into Blend 1—generic spaces are elaborated in Figures 1a and 1b respectively. All spaces are compressed into the Yin-Yang cycle and the diagram of broken and unbroken lines, which is understood as being representative of all relevant cosmological cycles. This Yin-Yang cycle—Input space 2—

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