Political Mind Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain

ISBN-10: 0670019275

ISBN-13: 9780670019274

Edition: 2008

Authors: George Lakoff
List price: $25.95
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Description: In Whats the Matter with Kansas?, Thomas Frank pointed out that a great number of Americans actually vote against their own interests. In The Political Mind, George Lakoff explains why. As it turns out, human beings are not the rational creatures weve so long imagined ourselves to be. Ideas, morals, and values do not exist somewhere outside the body, ready to be examined and put to use. Instead, they exist quite literally inside the brainand they take physical shape there. For example, we form particular kinds of narratives in our minds just like we form specific muscle memories such as typing or dancing, and then we fit new information into those narratives. Getting that information out of one narrative type and into anotheror building a whole new narrative altogethercan be as hard as learning to play the banjo. Changing your mind isnt likechanging your bodyits the same thing. But as long as progressive politicians and activists persist in believing that people use an objective system of reasoning to decide on their politics, the Democrats will continue to lose elections. They must wrest control of the terms of the debate from their opponents rather than accepting their frame and trying to argue within it. This passionate, erudite, and groundbreaking book will appeal to readers of Steven Pinker and Thomas Frank. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in how the mind works, how society works, and how they work together.

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 5/29/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a founding senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute. He is one of the world's best-known linguists. His expertise is in cognitive linguistics, the scientific study of the nature of thought and its expression in language. Since the mid-1980s he has been applying cognitive linguistics to the study of politics, especially the framing of public political debate. He is the author of the influential book, Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, (2nd edition, 2002). Since 2002, he has consulted with the leaders of hundreds of advocacy groups on framing issues, lectured to large audiences across the country, run dozens of workshops for activists, spoken regularly on radio talk shows and tv shows, spoken twice at the Democratic Senators' Policy Retreat, consulted with progressive pollsters and advertising agencies, been interviewed at length in the public media, served as a consultant in major political campaigns, and done extensive research for Rockridge. In addition to his work on political thought and language, he has been active in his academic discipline. He has lectured at major universities in dozens of countries around the world. He is currently on the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute (1995-01), has served as President of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association and on the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society, and is co-director with Jerome Feldman of the Neural Theory of Language Project at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley. He is the author of Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About The Mind (1987) and co-author of Metaphors We Live By (1980; 2003) [with Mark Johnson, More Than Cool Reason (1989) [with Mark Turner, Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge To The Western Tradition (1999) [with Mark Johnson, and Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics Into Being (2000) [with Rafael N��ez.

Introduction: Brain Change and Social Change
How the Brain Shapes the Political Mind
Anna Nicole on the Brain
The Political Unconscious
The Brain's Role in Family Values
The Brain's Role in Political Ideologies
Political Challenges for the Twenty-first-Century Mind
A New Consciousness
Traumatic Ideas: The War on Terror
Framing Reality: Privateering
Fear of Framing
Confronting Stereotypes: Sons of the Welfare Queen
Aim Above the Bad Apples
Cognitive Policy
Contested Concepts Everywhere
The Technical Is the Political
Exploring the Political Brain
The Problem of Self-interest
The Metaphors Defining Rational Action
Why Hawks Win
The Brain's Language
Language in the New Enlightenment
Afterword: What If It Works?
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
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