Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Lakoff in the Blogospohere

I don't usually read The Daily Kos, but I'm well aware of that blogs influence in the liberal region of the blogosphere, and the fact that Kos himself is fast becoming a serious player in the Democratic party. So, when Kos highly recommends a book by George Lakoff, calling it "the best book of this cycle," and linking to the Rockridge Institute, I know Lakoff and his ideas have arrived in the blogosophere. In fact, I've seen him all over, lately, from several posts at Fair Shot to Language Log's frequent mentions of his work (not surprising, since Lakoff is a linguist). This is a good thing, because Lakoff's ideas are insightful and important, especially for liberals. However, I can't help but wonder why it's taken so long for these ideas to be noticed by mainstream liberals. They're certainly not new (the study of rhetoric goes back to Plato and Aristotle, for Christ's sake!), even to Lakoff, who was writing on framing and political discourse back in 1992. The only thing new to the political discussion (though not to Lakoff) is the conceptual metaphor perspective, which is the weakest aspect of his work. I think you can just throw it out entirely, and keep his discussion of frames.

Who can possibly explain the fact that mainstream liberals have been so slow to jump on the rhetoric bandwagon? I certainly can't. It makes no sense to me. The people who've been studying rhetoric over the last few decades have, by and large, been liberals, as have the philosophers (postmodernists, pragmatists, etc.) who've been talking about this stuff since the 60s (from Foucault1 to Rorty). Lakoff's view of frames is not very different from the core insights of both the liberals studying theories of rhetoric or the philosophers talking about the role of language in thought. For some reason, it took a linguist who is, by any standard, still at the fringe of his field (cognitive science) to convince us that language, labels, and discourse are important, even more important than reasoned argumentation. Is this because mainstream liberals have still been wedded to their Enlightenment ideals? Is it because Lakoff's just a better writer of material for lay people? Is it because Lakoff explicitly ties it in to American politics (so does Baudrillard, but for most, he's all but unreadable)? Whatever the reason, I have two hopes. The first is that Lakoff's newfound popularity will lead mainstream liberal intellectuals to start taking rhetoric seriously, and delve into all of the insights rhetorical theorists have had over the last few decades. The second is that at the same time people take Lakoff's view of frames, and the gap between the skillful use of frames by conservatives and the poor use of them by liberals, seriously, they don't try to use Lakoff's own theory of cognition to implement the ideas and bridge the framing gap. That would simply be counterproductive.

1 I know, I know, Foucault isn't a liberal, and his critical of liberalism. But if you get rid of his fatalism, you can treat him as a liberal, and even if he's not a liberal, he's still influenced many liberal academics.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I think at least your second "hope" came true with me when I read Lakoff. I absorbed his argument when he described frames, but I have no idea to this day what his theory of cognition is.  

Posted by Lizzie Pickard

kiloi said...

tn chaussuresEnter the necessary language translation, up to 200 bytes winter, moves frequently in China, nike chaussures showing that the deep strategy of the Chinese market. Harvard Business School, nike tnaccording to the relevant survey data show that in recent years the Chinese market three brands, Adidas, mens clothingpolo shirts Li Ning market share at 21 percent, respectively, 20%, 17%. The brand is first-line to three lines of urban competition for mutual penetration. Side of theworld,announced layoffs, while China's large-scale facilities fists. The sporting goods giant Nike's every move in the winter will be fully exposed its strategy. Years later, the Nike, Inc. announced the world's Fan

shen bing said...

cheap hair straightenerscheap flat ironnew polo shirtssexy lingerie storepolo shirtsnorth face jacketschi straightenerpink chichaussures puma chaussure puma

shen bing said...

hair straightenersugg bootscheap handbagscheap bagscheap pursetntattoo wholesalejackets worldjackets cartmen's clothingwomen's clothing

shen bing said...

handbags Louis Vuitton Vuitton handbags Balenciaga Balenciaga Bally handbagsBottega Veneta handbagsCartier handbagsChanel handbagsChloe handbagsChristian Dior handbagsCoach handbagsDolce Gabanna handbags

shen bing said...

Fendi handbags Givenchy handbags Gucci handbags Hermes handbags Jimmy Choo handbags Juicy Couture handbags lsabella Fiore handbags Miu Miu handbags Mulberry handbags Prada handbags Tods handbags Versace handbags Yves Saint Laurent handbags

shen bing said...

Men's Lacoste Polo Shirts Men's RL Striped Polo Shirts Women's Lacoste Polo Shirts Men's polo shirts Men's polo shirts Men's polo shirts 4 polo shirts Women's polo shirts 21 polo shirts Men's polo shirts Women's LACOSTE 5 PCS of Ralph Women's lacoste polo shirts

crazyloko said...

China Wholesalers has been described as the world’s factory. buy products wholesaleThis phenomenom is typified by the rise ofbusiness. Incredible range of products available with China Wholesale “Low Price and High Quality” not only reaches directly to their target clients worldwide but also ensures that wholesale from china from China means margins you cannot find elsewhere and China Wholesale will skyroket your profits.china wholesale productsbuy china wholesalewholesale chinawholesale productsbuy products

lljj said...

Do not mean bad.Thank you so much! I just want to show some fashion wedding dress, cheap wedding dresses to all of you. I like wedding dresses, because wedding for a girl, it is the most special day in her life. Do you want to have the beautiful wedding dresses and designer wedding dresses in perfect day?? Here are the most popular discount wedding dresses and lace wedding dresses even plus size wedding dresses for all of you. Also the cheap evening dresses and evening formal dresses are a great choice for you. Let you dream come ture!! When you take part in a party, you can choose party cocktail dresses, also fashion but cheap cocktail dresses and cheap prom dresses here. Besides, the cheap bridesmaid dress and cheap flower girl dresses are also provide to you!

lljj said...

http://luoluo123.blogspot.com
http://crystalluo612.blog126.fc2.com
http://lj83612.spaces.live.com
http://cheappolos.blog.drecom.jp
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/specialoccasiondress
http://crystal888.edublogs.org
http://www4.atword.jp/summerfashion
http://blog.oricon.co.jp/misspoloshirt
http://blog.qlep.com/blog.php/gillette
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/pumafr
http://www.pumafr.com/blog
http://www.clothessports.com
http://chinaclothes.net

kitty said...

Hello, wonderful blog!thank you. By the way,here we offer a lot of good nike shoes,you can come

to have a look.
nike tn
nike air max tn
femmes chaussres
cheap ugg
uggs
nike monster
nike shox requin
nike tn net
puma shoes
nike enfant chaussuers
nike shox monster
nike store
cheap ugg
puma shoes
puma

chaussures

nike shoes sell
nike air max
nike shox
cheap nike shoes
cheap uggs
nike shoes
nike shox monster
enfant chaussures
tn requin
enfant chaussures
nike shox r4
nike chaussures
achat nike shox r4
nike shox r4
nike monster
Michael Jackson
tn chaussures

mamamia said...

ghd
cheap ghd
ghd straighteners
Benefit GHD
GHD IV Salon Styler
GHD MINI STYLER
GHD Precious gift
Gold GHD
Kiss GHD
New pink GHD
Pink GHD
Pure Black GHD
Pure White GHD
Purple GHD
Rare GHD
Babyliss
polo boots
polo shoes
cheap straighteners
ghd hair straighteners
hair straighteners
Purple GHD IV Styler
Pure White GHD
Pure Black GHD
Pink GHD IV Styler
Kiss GHD Styler
Gray GHD IV Styler
Gold GHD IV Styler
GHD Rare Styler

my blog said...

i want to show you the following products:
gucci boots
gucci shoes
gucci t-shirt
gucci bags
gucci handbags
gucci clothing
gucci watch
gucci sunglasses
gucci jewelry
gucci boots
gucci shoes
gucci t-shirt
gucci bags
gucci handbags
gucci clothing
gucci watch
gucci sunglasses
gucci jewelry
gucci boots
gucci shoes
gucci t-shirt
gucci bags
gucci handbags
gucci clothing
gucci watch
gucci sunglasses
gucci jewelry

Hanthan said...

air max light
air max bw
air max plus
air max 180
air max nike
air max TN
air max 87
air max 2010
air max outlet
timberland
timberland boots
timberland shoes
cheap timberland boots
timberland uk
timberlands
timberland 2010
timberland outlet
bag
bags
handbag
handbags
Coach new bags
Chanel new bags
D&G new bags
Burberry new bags
Prada new bags
ED Hardy new bags
CHOLE new bags
Fendi new bags
Dooney&Bourke new bags
Juicy new bags
LV new bags
Gucci new bags

Hanthan said...

Armani Sunglasses
Burberry Sunglasses
Cartier Sunglasses
Chanel Sunglasses
Coach Sunglasses
D&G Sunglasses
Dior Sunglasses
ED Hardy Sunglasses
Fendi Sunglasses
LV Sunglasses
Oakley Sunglasses
Police Sunglasses
Ray Ban Sunglasses
Roberto Cavalli Sunglasses
Versace Sunglasses
cheap gucci sunglasses
cheap prada sunglasses
cheap D&G sunglasses
discount gucci sunglasses
discount prada sunglasses
discotunt D&G sunglasses
cheap oaklay sunglasses
discount oaklay sunglasses
sunglasses outlet
air max,Nike air max
air max 90
nike air max 90
air max 1
air max 95
nike air max 360
nike air max ltd
air max ltd
air max 360
air max classic,Air Max Huarache

Anonymous said...

I had never see a blog batter than this blog, I like this blog very very much.By the way, do you like my products: solar street lights, street lights, street lighting, street lamps, ball valves, butterfly valves, butterfly valve handles, check valves, sanitary fittings, butterfly valve handles, butterfly valve handles, street light, valve manufacturer, butterfly valve handles, valve manufacturers, butterfly valve handles, street lamp, solar street light, ball valve, butterfly valve handles, butterfly valve, check valve,valves manufacturers, butterfly valve handles

ally said...

moncler jacketsmonclermoncler coatsmoncler t-shirtmoncler vestmoncler outletugg bootscheap ugg bootsdiscount ugg bootsugg classic tall bootsclassic ugg bootsmoncler jacketsmoncler
new moncler coatsmoncler vestmoncler outletmoncler polo t-shirtcoach outletcoach handbagscoach bagscoach totescoach outletlouis vuitton handbagsLV handbags 2010Louis Vuitton bags
Louis Vuitton totesrain bootsrainweardiesel jeansTure Religion Jeanslevis jeansabercrombie and fitch outlet
ed hardy wholesaleed hardy outletcheap ed hardy wholesalediscount ed hardy wholesalewholesale ed hardyGHDGHD straightenersCheap GHDDiscount GHDGHD OutletGHD New Pink