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Conceptual blending

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Conceptual Blending (aka Conceptual Integration) is a theory of cognition[1]. According to this theory, elements and vital relations from diverse scenarios are "blended" in a subconscious process known as Conceptual Blending, which is assumed to be ubiquitous to everyday thought and language. Insights obtained from these blends constitute the products of creative thinking.

The Theory of Conceptual Blending was developed by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. The development of this theory began in 1993 and a representative early formulation is found in their online article Conceptual Integration and Formal Expression.

A newer version of blending theory, with somewhat different termionology, was presented in their book The Way We Think (ISBN 0465087868). Their theory is partially based on basic ideas advanced by George Lakoff in his book Women Fire and Dangerous Things. It also related to Cognitive architecture theories like Soar and ACT-R, and to frame-based theories of Marvin Minsky, Jaime Carbonell among others.


  1. ^ No single cognitive theory has yet been able to cover any significant fraction of the phenomena of human cognition, but some claim that, as of late 2005, conceptual blending was rising in prominence among such theories.

See also

External links

  • The Center for the Cognitive Science of Metaphor Online is a collection of numerous formative articles in the fields of conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending (aka conceptual integration).
  • The differences between conceptual metaphor theory and conceptual blending are illustrated in this article on visual blends by Tim Rohrer

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