I am considering a notion called a “frame”.
The idea is that sometimes people make assertions about something - anything in the world - and to analyze the effect of that statement, it’s less important to consider if it’s true or false, but rather how the assertion molds people’s thinking about a certain topic. It relates to some other thoughts I’ve been having, which is that somehow humans create a conceptual system for framing the sort of raw plane of experience that is the universe. The interesting thing seems to be that concepts can be complex, they are composite, made of a variety of nuanced elements, and they can have fuzzy boundaries. Yet, it’s not easy to claim that every concept can dissolve into lower level, “primitive” or elemental concepts. Instead it seems like while the assertion of some concept feels somewhat subjective and arbitrary, it is necessary and inescapable to have that subjectivity and arbitrariness, otherwise there would simply be no concepts, nothing to talk about.
So when someone says something about the world, for example, “Don’t do what you love, do something that makes the world a better place”, it’s not a question of “Is this true that we should do this”, it’s a question of what frame are they imposing on one’s thinking - a dichotomy between “doing what you love”, leading a life pursuing self-gratification, and “make the world a better place”, doing something with hard ethical value, and that apparently these two things stand in contrast to one another. It causes people to begin to think within this framework or dialectic, perhaps classifying some goal-directed behaviors as more one or more the other, and so on.
This is an idea I am still developing but the idea is that first certain subjective concepts are asserted; then they occupy the subconscious and cause people to perceive events in expectations of those concepts. It’s very much related to how telling someone something about someone else, like, “That person is on drugs right now”, immediately causes you to perceive and interpret favorably in that direction, it primes you.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for except some kind of theory of how concepts can blind us; simply by asserting a contextual ontology for a conversation it forces people to think within the boundaries of that ontology. Has this notion been analyzed in the field of discourse analysis?