Feb 22 • 1HR 11M

#83: George Lakoff on a Life Lived by Metaphor

Cognitive Revolution | George's book, Metaphors We Live By, is one of the most cited works in all of cognitive science. We talk about the experiences that led to its development.

 
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In this show, I talk to experts, authors, and scientists about the ways we can rethink the habits, ideas, and assumptions we take with us through daily life.

This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.


This week’s guest is George Lakoff. George is one of the most highly cited cognitive scientists of all time, with his book Metaphors We Live By (co-authored with Mark Johnson) having been referenced in over 75,000 other scientific papers. George is best known for his work on how metaphor provides the structure of cognition, generally known as the “conceptual metaphors” framework, as well as his foundational ideas about the embodied mind. In last week’s episode, I talked with Annie Murphy Paul about her recent book, The Extended Mind, which draws heavily on the program of research of which Lakoff is a cornerstone. Lakoff is also politically very active, though we venture much into those topics in this conversation. In this episode our discussion mainly centers around George’s formative experiences—particularly in his childhood and adolescence; notable among them is the time he lived with a murder—as well as the genesis of his most famous ideas in cognitive science and linguistics (the latter starts around minute 40:00).


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