People



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George P. Lakoff (*1941)



School/tradition

  • Cognitive Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Linguistic constructions

Notable Ideas

  • the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society
  • the concept of the "embodied mind"


Biography

George P. Lakoff is a professor of cognitive linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley where he has taught since 1972.

Contribution to Linguistics

Some of his research involves questions traditionally pursued by linguists, such as the conditions under which a certain linguistic construction is grammatically viable. However, he is most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking and society, as well as unorthodox views of the scientific process, and its central position in the culture of developed countries as an assumed neutral point of view. Furthermore, he is particularly famous for his concept of the "embodied mind".

Central Knowledge

  • Metaphors are primarily a conceptual construction, and are central to the development of thought.
  • Non-metaphorical thought is for Lakoff only possible when we talk about purely physical reality. For Lakoff the greater the level of abstraction the more layers of metaphor are required to express it.

Main Publications

  • George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press, 1980.

  • George Lakoff and Mark Turner. More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. University of Chicago Press, 1989.

  • George Lakoff. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind. University of Chicago Press, 1987.

  • George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Philosophy In The Flesh: the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books, 1999.


Categories: People


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