Monday, October 09, 2006

Poor George

I learned this morning that Steven Pinker has written a scathing review in The New Republic of George Lakoff’s latest book (Whose Freedom?). I have not read Lakoff’s latest book or Pinker’s review since I do not have a subscription to TNR. Lakoff responds to the review here at Rockridge Institute.

I have read some of Lakoff’s other books though. The phenomenon that puzzles me about Lakoff is why certain people are so upset with him, no matter what he says. Some of what he says seems rather uncontroversial when measured against other philosophical works that arrive at the same conclusions. He uses research coming from cognitive science to explain why ideology often trumps the facts and our ability to reason about the facts. Many others have undertaken this philosophical project.

One of Lakoff’s claims is that there is no such thing as disembodied reason. People may disagree with that, but he is not the first person to mention it.

Oh well, it makes for great sport, especially for those folks who have not read Lakoff.

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