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The Doctrine Of Christian Discovery: Law Review
Dakota filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild's compelling documentary is premised on Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, a book based on two decades of research Director: Sheldon Peters Wolfchild. Writer: Steven Newcomb. Added to Watchlist. Seen in Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin.
Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? However, as Lakoff and Johnson have pointed out, "Our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. In most of the little things we do every day, we simply think and act more or less automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious. Based on the above, because the conceptual system of federal Indian law is a product of the human imagination, it is also irreducibly imaginative.
Because the ideas that constitute federal Indian law are the result of imaginative processes, those ideas operate systematically in a regular, dynamic, and highly adaptive manner. Furthermore, the deep cognitive structure of the conceptual system of federal Indian law is not immediately evident, even to those who regularly study and practice this area of law. Cognitive science and cognitive theory provide a number of valuable tools for gaining much-needed insight into federal Indian law; one of these tools is conceptual metaphor.
Metaphor is a matter of thought, not just language.
Steven Newcomb: Pagans In The Promised Land, May
Metaphorical thinking involves imaginatively thinking of and experiencing one thing in terms of another. Since we as humans automatically and unreflectively think and reason imaginatively conceptualize about all kinds of things in terms of the functions, structures, and activities of our physical bodies, it necessarily follows that human conceptual systems are largely metaphorical in nature. Because federal Indian law is a conceptual system composed of countless abstract ideas, it too is largely metaphorical in nature.
Thus a study of the role that conceptual metaphors and other cognitive operations have played and continue to play in federal Indian law may provide us with a much deeper understanding of this extremely difficult and problematic field of law than has been previously possible. The term metaphor is derived from the Greek meta pherein and means 'to carry over,' thereby "suggesting that the meanings and ideas associated with one thing are carried over to another. Two common examples of conceptual metaphor include understanding and experiencing the domain of argument in terms of the domain of war argument is war or thinking of and experiencing the domain of love in terms of the domain of a journey love is a journey.
In the first example, some entailments of war are mapped onto our understanding of argument. In the second example, the entailments of a journey are mapped onto our understanding of love. This gives rise to such expressions as "Our relationship isn't going anywhere" and "We're driving in the fast lane on the freeway of love.
An understanding of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in terms of the location of the Indies, as Europeans referred to Eastern Asia during the so-called Age of Discovery, eventually resulted in the Europeans mentally projecting the concepts indios, Indians, or American Indians onto the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere. Thus the misnomer Indian can be thought of as the primary metaphor in federal Indian law. The tools of cognitive theory provide us with an effective means of examining the way that federal lawmakers, jurists, and policy makers have unconsciously and imaginatively applied certain categories, concepts, metaphors, and other thought processes to American Indian peoples, some of which, through time, have come to be objectified and reified as "the law.
In addition to identifying conceptual metaphors and the central role they play in human thought, scholars of cognitive science have also identified a mental phenomenon called image-schemas, which are part of the structure and operation of the human imagination. Image-schemas play a highly significant role in the conceptual system of federal Indian law. Such schemas are mentally modeled after the structure, functions, activities, and spatial orientation of the human body and its interactions with the social and physical world. Image-schemas are grounded in the bodily experiences of our everyday actions.
For example, when we get up in the morning, we walk upright. We typically walk forward, not backward, and we continue moving forward throughout our day. This continual forward motion is part of the experience of being human and the reason why, for example, humans tend to metaphorically think of, experience, and reason about the conceptual domain of life in terms of the conceptual domain of a journey. The typical forward movement of humans results in the metaphors life is a purposeful journey and purposes are destinations, both of which are structured in terms of what is called the source-path-goal image-schema.
On the basis of this image-schema, and in keeping with such metaphors, it is typical to conceptualize our lives, and all kinds of daily activities, in terms of traveling from some source or starting point along some path or route toward and to a goal or destination. Another example of this thought process is the tendency for people raised in American society to typically think of progress as a forward movement toward some idealized image or model of society in the future.
The classic image of this is exemplified in the painting American Progress, or Manifest Destiny by John Gast, which depicts the movement of the United States westward in the manner of a manifest destiny. An angelic blond white woman floats through the air in a westward direction, carrying what appears to be a Bible under her right arm while unfurling a telegraph line behind her. Based on the source-path-goal image-schema and the life is a purposeful [westward] journey conceptualization, there is a long history of the American people thinking of the indigenous peoples of North America as a "barrier" or "obstacle" to American "progress.
Because the Indians, as the original possessors of the land, stood fast in resistance to their ancestral homelands being overrun and overtaken by the invading Europeans, American society viewed them as impediments standing in the way of America's purpose and, therefore, as obstacles to America's "civilized, forward, westward momentum.
In other words, the Indians were not considered to be attempting to stand still. They were thought of as not having "advanced," or as holding back, the "forward" movement of "progress. There is another aspect of the human experience that has gone into the development of federal Indian law and policy; it is the fact previously mentioned that we walk upright. We do so by maintaining our balance though we seldom spend much time consciously thinking about this, unless we are about to or do lose our balance.
As Winter has stated, "The discovery that human rationality is embodied means that basic body states like balance, and other image-schemas, provide the primary structure of human reason. It is our physical bodily experience of balance that leads, for example, to the common metaphorical expression about some important issue "hanging in the balance.