Synopses & Reviews
Moral Politics takes a fresh look at how we think and talk about political and moral ideas. George Lakoff analyzed recent political discussion to find that the family especially the ideal family is the most powerful metaphor in politics today. Revealing how family-based moral values determine views on diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programs, and the environment, George Lakoff looks at how conservatives and liberals link morality to politics through the concept of family and how these ideals diverge. Arguing that conservatives have exploited the connection between morality, the family, and politics, while liberals have failed to recognized it, Lakoff explains why conservative moral position has not been effectively challenged. A wake up call to political pundits on both the left and the right, this work redefines how Americans think and talk about politics.
For this new edition, Lakoff adds a preface and an afterword extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the impeachment of Bill Clinton to the 2000 presidential election and its aftermath.
In Moral Politics, the first full-scale application of cognitive science to politics, George Lakoff analyzes the unconscious worldviews of liberals and conservatives, explaining why they are at odds over so many seemingly unrelated issues-like taxes, abortion, regulation, and social programs. The differences, Lakoff argues, are not mere matters of partisanship, but arise from radically different conceptions of morality and ideal family life-meaning that family and morality are at the heart of American politics, in ways that are far from obvious. For this edition, Lakoff adds a preface and an afterword explaining how "moral politics" makes sense of events like the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the 2000 presidential election.
In this classic text, the first full-scale application of cognitive science to politics, George Lakoff analyzes the unconscious and rhetorical worldviews of liberals and conservatives, discovering radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. For this new edition, Lakoff adds a preface and an afterword extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the impeachment of Bill Clinton to the 2000 presidential election and its aftermath.
About the Author
George Lakoff is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. He previously taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan. His academic career has been devoted to developing the field of cognitive lingusitics, the cognitive theory of metaphor, construction grammar, embodied conceptual systems, a neural theory of grammar, and the cognitive foundations of mathematics.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction
1. The Minds and Politics
2. The Worldview Problem for American Politics
Part II: Moral Conceptual Systems
3. Experiential Morality
4. Keeping the Moral Books
5. Strict Father Morality
6. Nurturant Parent Morality
Part III: From Family-Based Morality to Politics
7. Why We Need a New Understanding of American Politics
8. The Nature of the Model
9. Moral Categories in Politics
Part IV: The Hard Issues
10. Social Programs and Taxes
11. Crime and the Death Penalty
12. Regulation and the Environment
13. The Culture Wars: From Affirmative Action to the Arts
14. Two Models of Christianity
16. How Can You Love Your Country and Hate Your Government?
Part V: Summing Up
17. Varieties of Liberals and Conservatives
18. Pathologies, Stereotypes, and Distortions
19. Can There Be a Politics without Family Values?
Part VI: Whos Right? And How Can You Tell?
20. Nonideological Reasons for Being a Liberal
21. Raising Real Children
22. The Human Mind
23. Basic Humanity
Epilogue: Problems for Public Discourse