Carrying something out, execut Aims

Epistemology, explanatio Function arising from general Considering the continuum and


Performing / Doing

Carrying something out, executing or doing it -- the what, which, who, where and when in discrete instances and ordered sequences. Procedures, methods.

At this level action is carried out, behavior or interaction is done at a sensory-motor level.

It is the naming of components, pieces or bits of feeling, thinking or doing. Knowing only "Performing" will give elementary details at a point In Time.

Performing includes What, procedures; structure and naming of

On-the-ground; "where the rubber meets the road";

Principals / Aims...


Epistemology, explanation, overall concept, principles, direction, why something is evaluated as good or bad. Why are we doing this? Why this choice? Why is the problem formulated in this way? What are the reasons or purposes, the identity and values? Why this context, orientation, or general approach?

At this level one makes a choice of context; a choice of what subject to study, problem to solve, limitation to overcome, dispute to resolve.

Strategies / Manner...

Function arising from general knowledge of How things work and how to work them. Applying scripts, biases, norms, rules, plans, policies, designs and strategies. Patterns that enable and constrain.

Three Layers of Metaphor Organization

Considering the continuum and interrelationships among feeling, thought and behavior we find at least three layers to which attention can be directed. These levels implicitly (if not explicitly) structure any metaphor. A metaphor can be evoked with but a fraction of its structure, and more of the structure will emerge depending on how thinking proceeds or is directed.

Is a metaphor better detected at one layer rather than another? Not necessarily. Most metaphors, when named or referred to in general, first reveal material at the middle or strategy level (e.g., War, Cultivation, Gambling). The overall direction or aims and the specific behavior or performance may not emerge without exploration. On the other hand, metaphors in allegorical form (e.g., a narrative or folk tale) may consist almost entirely of particular behavior, performing or events (the sun and the wind watched a man walking along the road dressed in a heavy overcoat; the sun said to the wind...), and the listener will add her own interpretations of strategy and direction. (Or, interpretations may be provided in the form of a moral or teaching; note that the key shift or change in a fable will often represent a new strategy, followed by new or different behavior on the part of a principal character.)

Here are the layers:
Principals/Direction (Epistemology, explanation, Why. Why evaluated good or bad? principles, direction, Why are we doing this? Why this choice? Why is problem formulated in this way? Reasons or purposes, Identity, Values, Why this context, general approach, direction?
Strategies/Management Function )arising from general knowledge of How things work, how to work them. Applying scripts, norms, rules, policies and strategies. Enabling and constraining patterns.
Performance (Carrying something out, doing it, the what, which, who, where and when in discrete instances and ordered sequences. Procedures, methods.

Does the existence of material at one level constitute a sign in the Target Domain that there is metaphor? Do we assume that existence of material at one level implies something at other levels? What else may be necessary to invoke a metaphor?

When you think about the material you see at one level, does this sensitize you to metaphors known primarily at another level (e.g., "he planted the idea..." is at Performing level; does this imply other aspects of gardening or gardening strategy? Or, in absense of that, wild procreation?

A fairly common approach to using metaphor is to introduce a metaphor name simply to see what divergent ideas might arise. E.g., disputants are stuck discussing how to divide assets, and the mediator says something such as, "What if you think of this in terms of a journey metaphor?" Because "journey" has so many entailments that come easily to mind (maps, choice of transport, places to stay, travellers needing to cooperate to get to destination, etc.) a rich Source Domain is opened.

This example helps pose an important question: At what level is the metaphor operating? Metaphors, while perhaps theoretically or potentially operating at all levels, might be introduced or alluded to on a particular level. In the above example, where a "journey metaphor" is mentioned, the entailments invoked depend upon the listener. If, instead of simply naming the metaphor, the mediator had incorportated into the discourse a certain choice of words ("Where are you trying to get to...") that might invoke a particular level (Directing level).

Furthermore, all levels of the Source may become conscious (in what direction to travel, strategies for daily comfort, packing bags). Applying such a metaphor consciously -- even casually -- has the effect of re-activating all levels in the Target Domain. So, you get enhancement not only in terms of the Source content and logic, but also in terms of moving between levels.

The presence of all levels may be necessary to produce a narrative (see Narrative in Main Menu).

Are these layers also radial categories? Are their meanings metaphorically understood (e.g., Performing is Moving, Manner is Angle of Orientation, Aims are Directions of Orientation)? Is there an overall metaphor that might be conventionally refered to as modus operandi, style...?


Axon File: c:\axon2002\metares\layers.xon
Last modified: 2002-08-13 10:47:28