“From World to Worldview: An Energy Principle of Psychosocial Dynamics.”

Beitrag in einem Sammelwerk

Details zur Publikation

Autor(en): Sinding M
Herausgeber: Peter Garratt
Titel Sammelwerk: The Cognitive Humanities: Embodied Mind in Literature and Culture
Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan
Verlagsort: London
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2016
Seitenbereich: 133 - 150
ISBN: 978-1-137-59329-0
Sprache: Englisch


To explain how cultural worldviews cohere, we need to develop principles of worldview structure. Image schemas and force dynamics must be central to worldview structure, since they are central conceptual structures of both metaphor and narrative, and both metaphor and narrative are central organising structures of worldview. However, the role of these conceptual structures in discourse has not been adequately studied, and they need to be developed (scaled up, supplemented and integrated) in order to represent rich and extended narrative and metaphoric thought adequately. A promising line of development is to link these structures with ‘intuitive ontology’ (especially ‘naïve physics’)—specifically, to characterise energy as a principle of conceptual structure for models of the physical world that can be used in metaphor and narrative to model the psychosocial world. I begin by considering William Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790) as a precursor vision of embodied cognition, as Blake declares that there is no soul distinct from body; and energy, which is life and delight, is from the body. I then examine visual and linguistic narrative representations of energy patterns, in popular culture examples, in Blake’s illustrations of good and wicked souls for Robert Blair’s poem The Grave (1805), and in a key scene in William Godwin’s novel Caleb Williams (1794). Turning to political argument and worldview, I show how Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine frame the French Revolution under contrasting models of psychosocial structures, causality and valuation. The metaphor scenarios (see Andreas Musolff, 'Metaphor Scenarios in Public Discourse', Metaphor & Symbol 21, 1 (2006), 23–38) in their arguments are of various ontologies and levels of schematicity: substances (property, body, parts, ties, mass), forces (tie, impulse), forceful movements (receive, hold, transmit, bind, circulate, pass-through, invigorate, dissolve, bring-together). Yet these arguments integrate the scenarios into broader psychosocial stories that are coherent and easily understood. Thus I propose a method for coordinating metaphor analysis at several levels of discourse: metaphor scenarios, metaphoric schema-structures, and super-schematic metaphoric narratives. Using this method, I characterise Burke’s and Paine’s central analogies for sociopolitical order; their moral priorities; and their moral blind spots. Throughout, I argue that it is only at the level of energy structure that we can specify how sequences of scenarios get integrated into patterns; and how coherent but opposite patterns of psychosocial energy underpin political models.

FAU-Autoren / FAU-Herausgeber

Sinding, Michael
Lehrstuhl für Theoretische Physik


Sinding, M. (2016). “From World to Worldview: An Energy Principle of Psychosocial Dynamics.”. In Peter Garratt (Eds.), The Cognitive Humanities: Embodied Mind in Literature and Culture (pp. 133 - 150). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sinding, Michael. "“From World to Worldview: An Energy Principle of Psychosocial Dynamics.”." The Cognitive Humanities: Embodied Mind in Literature and Culture Ed. Peter Garratt, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 133 - 150.


Zuletzt aktualisiert 2018-06-08 um 15:53