The Natural Choice? Metaphors for nature in a UK government white paper 279
, Doctor in Philosophy, Researcher in English, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania, Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org
George Lakoff (1993) described metaphor as “a major and indispensable part of our ordinary conventional way of conceptualizing the world.” In the context of a critical approach to discourse studies, however, such conceptualizing is not a neutral phenomenon. Politicians and advertisers, among others, understand the potential of metaphor as a persuasive rhetorical figure. In the topical public debate on the environment, where environmental discourse has achieved a certain currency thanks to pressure groups such as Greenpeace, metaphors have a key role to play in influencing attitudes.
This study explores the construction of environmental discourse in a recent white paper from the British government, with an emphasis on the persuasive role of metaphor. It suggests that the notion of ‘value’ as a key metaphor can be understood in terms of the appeal it makes to potential readers in the corporate sphere.
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