This is an excellent companion piece to the conversation with James Kunstler and Mattias Desmet, posted previously, regarding limits to rationality and re-fashioning our approaches to challenge those who seek to dominate the environment we share. Avowedly “progressive”, Lakoff’s scholarship is solid, and his presentation from 2008 pre-dates the Left’s total abandonment of its historic constituency. Whatever your political predispositions, there is much food for thought here. (1 hr. 8 min. plus 20 min. question)
Cognitive science and linguistics professor George Lakoff talked about his book, The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain. In the book he argues that our brains mostly work on an unconscious level and that political thought is often connected to emotions rather than rationality. He contends that Republicans have succeeded in connecting to a voter’s emotions and presents different methods, such as the framing of words “War on Terror” versus “Occupation of Iraq,” that have allowed them to be successful. Mr. Lakoff responded to questions from the audience following his talk.
George Lakoff is a cognitive science and linguistics professor at University of California, Berkeley and senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute. He is the author of several books, including Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate – The Essential Guide for Progressives.
(sorry, was unable to embed video, find it here) https://www.c-span.org/video/?280475-1/the-political-mind