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View Diary: Proper Framing of the Voting Fraud Issue (130 comments)

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  •  You haven't read much Lakoff, have you? (none)
    Lakoff's whole point is that we don't understand anything, not a single thing in this world, apart from frames. Read his classic work in linguistics, Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Teach Us about the Mind. In Elephant he makes the further clarification that when we don't have words for our ideas, it's because we haven't framed them well yet. So we can't explicate "our basic underlying world view" as you say without framing it well first.

    You really should study some cognitive linguistics, and read not just Lakoff but his colleagues. This stuff is essential, important, and establishes that frames and metaphors (and "blends," if you've studied in this area) are fundamental, foundational to understanding, not something added for rhetorical effect later. Seriously, we all should study this stuff, and go to the heart of it, not just the simplified version Lakoff is peddling. Because he's quite right that it applies to politics, and we should use the industrial grade version of it, not the pop psychology version Lakoff's reduced it to in order to get it out the door.

    •  You are correct (none)
      I haven't read a lot of Lakoff yet.  I'm still finishing Elephant and will work on Moral Politics next, though I'll certainly add the book you recommended.  

      Perhaps Lakoff has simplified the message, but in doing so he makes it accessible to those of us who do not have a degree in cognitive linguistics.  I fully agree with your insistence that I study this area of research, but I need a place to dig in so when I start reading the hard lit and research articles in scientific journals I at least have some sort of familiarity with the material.

      I certainly don't dispute that frames are foundational to understanding.  The problem I'm having here is that the framing we seem to be doing is of the willy-nilly variety that is only in response to the very explicated model of the right.  

      Perhaps you could explain to me where I'm missing the point.  I thought what Lakoff said was that if we can't frame it, we don't have the idea.

      Sigh, I guess I'd better read some more as I seem to be going around in circles.  Thanks very much for your response, and apologies for criticising what I apparently don't understand, even though I thought I did!

    •  First Things First (none)
      I've got a shelf worth of cognitive linguistics, so I couldn't agree with you more. But I also know how pressed people are for time.

      A good place for people to go to get their footing is a relatively simple book, Metaphors We Live By, co-authored with philosopher Mark Johnson. Written in flurry of discovery in 1980, it was the book that got everything started in the way of a buzz about cognitive metaphor.

      I suggest that after people read Don't Think of An Elephant, they read Metaphors We Live By and Moral Politics, in either order. In comparison, Women, Fire and Dangerous Things is sort of like War and Peace.  Definitely worthwhile. But there's a lot of while along with the worth.

      Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

      by Paul Rosenberg on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:28:01 PM PST

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      •  I Endorse (none)
        Metaphors We Live By, also.  It was one of the few texts from college that I didn't sell!

        11/04/04 fortune cookie: "Feel Compassion for all life, and give knowledge that you have".

        by oregongal on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 05:17:42 PM PST

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      •  The work of Joseph Campbell (none)
        seems important to this, but I'm not sure why I believe this yet. But his efforts to help us understand why myth is important seem crucial to understanding the mythology that elected this president again.

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