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The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics Paperback – June 2, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't know that there's really anything in The Political Mind that Lakoff hasn't already said in one form or another elsewhere (the primary reason for the three-star rating). But he does stress here what he sees as the errors of the theory of mind he argues was formed by the Enlightenment and which political progressives still assume today. Lakoff characterizes that theory as stressing the transparency of mind, drawing a sharp division between reason and emotion, and assuming that reason is a universal human capacity that accurately describes the world. But nothing in this model, asserts Lakoff, is correct. Much of what we call the mind is unconscious; what we think, because of our tendency to operate through largely unconscious metaphorical frames, is largely constitutive rather than straightforwardly conceptual; and reason is rarely dispassionately reflective.
So what's the connection between all this and politics? Simply, claims Lakoff, that progressive politicians still buy into the Enlightenment model of mind, and operate accordingly in trying to influence voters and win elections. "Rational" arguments in the Enlightenment mode are ineffective because they rest on a false understanding of how the mind works--the assumption that our decisions are made consciously, abstractly, and dispassionately.Read more ›
Republicans have intuitively known this and have used language to create metaphors and neural pathways that have become dogmatic in America--example: tax relief, page 234. Relief is not normally connected to taxes (road building, social security, and armed forces result from taxes, not relief). However, tax relief has become a metaphor in the US that is identified as generally good, and puts anyone who criticizes the concept on the defensive.
The conservative Republican model society is based on Old Testament concepts: right and wrong are absolute. It is based on a strict father model (page 78) that relies on discipline. The father tells the children how to behave and punishes them if they do not heed the father. Children learn discipline so they will do the right thing without question (think of Marines who obey commands in the heat of war as described in the book Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley and Ron Powers, 2001). Obeying authority without questioning it is paramount. That's why Republicans supported President Bush's pardon of Scooter Libby for lying to Congress - Libby was merely obeying orders.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lakoff is suppose to be a "scientist", but the only impression you'll get after reading this book is that he's nothing more than an apologist for the far-left Democratic... Read morePublished 7 months ago by john A. mcleod
Good insights from the left on how we think, how we communicate and how we frame our thoughts can have significant and far reaching impacts. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Edward J. Barton
One of the most important, illuminating books I've ever read. Lakoff provides both scientific and sociological insight into what makes us tick. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Candon
Needed this for a college course. It was an easy read and had some interesting points. Not your usual read when it comes to politics.Published 9 months ago by Chaise Rogers
Progressives will love it, conservatives will hate it,and a scientist will be left disappointed.
Instead of comparing political frames and examining how each side... Read more
Scientific insight on how progressives need understand framing and the reflexive unconscious narratives all people have to keep our country united and growing better for all people... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Fred Sullivan