The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics

The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics

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by George Lakoff
     
 

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A groundbreaking scientific examination of the way our brains understand politics from a New York Times bestselling author

One of the world 's best-known linguists and cognitive scientists, George Lakoff has a knack for making science make sense for general readers. In his new book, Lakoff spells out what cognitive science has discovered about

Overview

A groundbreaking scientific examination of the way our brains understand politics from a New York Times bestselling author

One of the world 's best-known linguists and cognitive scientists, George Lakoff has a knack for making science make sense for general readers. In his new book, Lakoff spells out what cognitive science has discovered about reason, and reveals that human reason is far more interesting than we thought it was. Reason is physical, mostly unconscious, metaphorical, emotion-laden, and tied to empathy-and there are biological explanations behind our moral and political thought processes. His call for a New Enlightenment is a bold and striking challenge to the cherished beliefs not only of philosophers, but of pundits, pollsters, and political leaders. The Political Mind is a passionate, erudite, and groundbreaking book that will appeal to anyone interested in how the mind works and how we function socially and politically.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" Unyielding, provocative, ambitious . . . filled with fascinating scientific research, is apt to find a receptive audience among citizens who hunger for a new progressive renaissance."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143115687
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/02/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
324,307
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
" Unyielding, provocative, ambitious . . . filled with fascinating scientific research, is apt to find a receptive audience among citizens who hunger for a new progressive renaissance."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Meet the Author

George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Sapeoblast More than 1 year ago
It is no shocker that fear mongering has become an all too acceptable part of our American Political system. Yet, as Lakoff explains in A Political Mind, the rousing emotions that scare tactics shoot for and have been so successful for conservatives in recent years can also be applied to progressive arguments, albeit without the element of fear. By explaining how our brain perceives arguments, especially those which we process unconsciously, Lakoff demonstrates that our political mind is part of our hard wired neurological system. Thus, in order to help realign American politics with the progressive policies envisioned by our Founding Fathers, it is suggested that more attention needs to be paid to the psychology, not mere rationality, of arguments. Most notably, Lakoff tackles the idea of framing and how something as simple as word choice can have a long last effect on the public's brains. While the idea is based on reversing the trend of old Enlightenment arguments within American politics, the notion of positive framing can be employed in almost any realm where one needs to get a point across in the face of adversity. An extremely useful point for those who often find themselves in contentious positions! An interesting and inspiring read that will have you questioning the political world unfolding in front of you. If given enough credit, the information in this book can yield not only critical thinking but critical doing as Lakoff outlines the roles that progressives need to start adopting in order to come down off the pedestal of Enlightenment and begin recognizing the reality of 21st century politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obviously, Lakoff is a liberal. In this book he shows how conservatives in the US have used political speech, framing, symbols, narratives, metonymies, etc to move political thought to the right. He introduces a concept of new enlightenment wherein liberals rethink their strategy to use the same framing techniques as Cons but in ethical ways that enlighten the public. Lakoff shows how certain social narratives (like the hero who saves a victim from evil) work in favor of conservative framing. He shows how liberals might change frames rather than fall into conservative ones. Read this if you are interested in politics and want to know why some people believe in (and vote for) conservative ideas, even when those ideas work against them. You'll also learn some ways in which you can argue politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Constance Feltz More than 1 year ago
Lakoff pulls together his previous findings and helps the reader construct effective frames for today's politcal issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
yikesJC More than 1 year ago
For someone who claims to be a scientist, it is singularly regrettable that he resorts to using such a book to display his subjective socialistic disposition. He deserves kutos for unabashedly showing his bias, but he violates a principle of scientific description by not telling what influences affected his mind. The explanation of cognitive research findings is fascinating but made suspect by his predjudicial view which by nature is irrational. It's unfortunate, because I was hoping to find sound bases for understanding why my friends of polor opinions are thinking as they are.