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A Political Mind by George Lakoff

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by

Cheryl Varghese

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of A Political Mind by George Lakoff

The Brain, Politics & Language
Argument 2: Conservative thought has infiltrated American discourse, by dominating aspects of language and consequently, politics. Language has political force
a. Language can be used to change minds
b. Language is a force for social cohesion or separation
c. Language has moral force The Power of Language The political power of words lies in the form as well as in the frames, metaphors, prototypes, metonymies, and the entire systems of concepts.
Words are defined in terms of frames and activate these frame, which is important for people in politics to know. Words and Politics How Democrats & Progressives can win?
“We have to develop a language that can be used in general by Liberals and Progressives all over the country.” (Lakoff) Conservative view of Education: The Business Model Privateering Schools using business model
Vouchers
Privatization = competition = inequity

"Business leaders like the idea of turning the schools into a marketplace where the consumer is king. But the problem with the marketplace is that it dissolves communities and replaces them with consumers. Going to school is not the same as going shopping" (Ravitch, 221). A few examples... Bad Apples Welfare Queen What are Cultural Narratives? "Mythical narratives are the stuff of politics, and contemporary conservatism is rife with them" (Lakoff, 2008)

“Cultural narratives exist outside the body—in our culture—and inside the body– in the very building blocks of our brains. ”(Lakoff, 2008) Metaphors Metaphors are fundamental mechanism of mind, which allows us to use what we know about physical and social experiences to provide understanding of complex subjects. No Child Left Behind Act -A Nation-as-family metaphor Argument 3: Progressives are the moral defenders of democracy but need to adopt a 21st century mind. New Enlightenment- an inkling from Obama http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgizhb_george-lakoff-on-barack-obama-s-empathy-campaign_news What is the New Enlightenment? Empathy
Equity
Community
Cooperation
Sustainability Issue: Education Nurturant Parent Strict Father -Early childhood education
-Govt. backed student loans
-Empower teachers Encourage competition
-vouchers
-charters
Punish teachers
Privatize student loans Progressives must beat the conservatives at their own game train speakers to use frames,narratives,metaphors
book them on speaking tours
repeat the message over and over until it enters the subconscious By:
Susan Hedges
Xiaohua Liu
Stephanie Pace
Cheryl Varghese
Hao Wu Language Wars—Words Shape Politics
How can Progressives win?
“We have to develop a language that can be used in general by Liberals and Progressives all over the country.” (Lakoff) Language Using in Debate—Points Deducted or Awarded?

What did he present? What did he present? George Lakoff A progressive for progressive thinking http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-8-2012/children-s-television-chop-shop---this-week-with-george-snuffleupagus On that note... Shattering the myth of the rational actor
-> the cognitive unconscious challenge
-> empathic response drives decision making Argument 1: Cognitive Science dispels Old Enlightenment notions of conscious reasoning



Anna Nicole -- Cultural Narratives
Gold digger V.S. Rags-to-Riches "The central idea is Empathy. Democracy is based on empathy, on people caring about one another and acting to the very best of their ability on that care, for their families, their communities, their nation, and the world. Government must also care and act on that care. Government’s job is to protect and empower its citizens."
- George Lakoff Wrap Up "But we'd better hurry up, the ice caps are melting."
- George Lakoff "Language is at once a surface phenomenon and a source of power. It is a means of expressing, communicating, accessing, and even shaping thought...Language is a tool, an instrument- but it is the surface, not the soul, of the brain." (Lakoff, 2008, p. 14-15)

Generalizations over groups of related words, forms of reasoning about subject matter
Mental structures that shape the way we see the world (Feldman p. 4)
"Scripts"
Metonymy: fixed associations within frames Frames
Full transcript