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Elephant and Donkey
7.23.04
Politics and Economy:
George Lakoff
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Biography

For nearly 40 years, George Lakoff has been one of the world’s best-known linguists. Professor Lakoff is widely recognized for his research on metaphorical thought, the embodied mind, and the structure of language. But in recent years, his application of cognitive science and linguistics to politics has brought him to national attention.

With colleagues at the University of California, Professor Lakoff founded the Rockridge Institute, a new political think tank dedicated to reframing political thought and political debate in this country. He has a new book to appear in August, DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT! WHAT EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VALUES AND THE FRAMING WARS.

Professor Lakoff sits down with David Brancaccio to talk about how effective language is shaping the current election.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and at the Linguistics Society of America Summer Institute at the University of New Mexico. He has been a member of the Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society, a Senior Fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and President of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association. He served on the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute and was co-director with Jerome Feldman of the Neural Theory of Language Project at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley.

Dr. Lakoff has published a multitude of articles in major scholarly journals and edited volumes. He is the author of the influential book, MORAL POLITICS: HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES THINK (Second Edition, 2002). He is also the author of WOMEN, FIRE, AND DANGEROUS THINGS: WHAT CATEGORIES REVEAL ABOUT THE MIND (1987) and co-author with Mark Johnson of METAPHORS WE LIVE BY (1980) and PHILOSOPHY IN THE FLESH: THE EMBODIED MIND AND ITS CHALLENGE TO THE WESTERN TRADITION (1999); with Mark Turner of MORE THAN COOL REASON (1989); and with Rafael Núñez of WHERE MATHEMATICS COMES FROM: HOW THE EMBODIED MIND BRINGS MATHEMATICS INTO BEING (2000).

In addition to his teaching and research commitments, Dr. Lakoff has been on the editorial board of Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, Journal of Pragmatics, Cognitive Linguistics, Philosophical Psychology, Connection Science, and the University of Chicago Press Cognitive Linguistics Book Series.

He is regularly interviewed in the public media and has appeared on such radio shows as TALK OF THE NATION (with Ray Suarez), BRIDGES (with Larry Josephson), TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE, and FORUM (with Michael Krasny).



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