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George Lakoff

This is a profile of a person? on the list of influential political philosophers and list of ethicists?

George Lakoff is a linguist? who has studied intersection of language creativity and habit with ethics, the process of deep framing and its use in politics, and the embodied mind? and its implications for philosophy of mathematics.

Philosophically, he is an experientalist and a champion of imaginative rationality in the tradition of Protagoras, Aristotle?, Rene Descartes? and Jonathan Swift?. He has written very critically of Thomas Hobbes? and overuse of scientific rationality? to create what he calls an "objectivist?" view of reality. But he has also rejected arbitrary notions of hermaneutic reasonableness? and sought to tie them very strictly to a strong ontology or "most basic metaphor" which he has claimed can be discovered in the correspondence between Euler's Identity? and the embodiment of the human cognitive system?.

Curiously, he has claimed that "whether mathematics? is objective or not, we could not possibly tell" when there are in fact other members of Genus Homo that use language, that we might be able to check with. Eugene Wigner? as early as 1960 noted that the anthropic principle? could not be fully resolved without "at least for the theoretical aspects", reference to cognition of other species. From this evidence some have concluded that Lakoff is ultimately of the same left/progressive streak as Noam Chomsky, not a "green" in any sense.

Lakoff's works include:

He presently runs an institute to study the way that progressive, left and green politics can exploit methods of rhetoric and ontological metaphor that, he claims, right-wing politics? has been more successful at, since about the 1980s.


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