Using Metaphor in Mediation and Negotiation

24 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2003

Date Written: January 2003


While metaphor has been of some interest to mediators and negotiators, little has been done to take advantage of the growing body of work in cognitive science known as conceptual metaphor theory. A cognitive approach to metaphor promises valuable insights into the nature of conflict and its resolution. The distinctions between source and target domains, conventional and novel metaphor, the mapping of entailments, correspondences, and inference structure have been studied extensively and have direct application to conflict resolution practice. The paper concludes with suggestions for teaching and learning about metaphor intended for its practical use in the negotiation process.

Keywords: mediation, metaphor, cognitive linguistics

Suggested Citation

Smith, Thomas H., Using Metaphor in Mediation and Negotiation (January 2003). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas H. Smith (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Boulder, CO 80304
United States

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