Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
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This article is concerned with metonymy as a cognitive mechanism underlying our best and worst instincts. In particular, I consider two seemingly opposite processes of metonymy: (1) conceptual bypassing of sensory percepts, which leads to an intuitive leap to abstract insights and judgments and (2) conceptual oversimplification of a social category by stereotyping. By directing attention to that which metonymy is apt to obscure, I encourage the reader to rethink existing models of metonymy that focus on its referential and mental access functions. I offer an complementary account of the functions of metonymy by arguing that mental simplism is central to conceptual bypassing and social stereotyping and by pointing out the social psychological reality of an expressive function of metonymy.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): instinct; mental access; mental simplism; metonymy; stereotyping
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