Study Questions for Lakoff, The Political Mind, Intro

Prepared by Dr. Jan Garrett

Last modification date: June 21, 2009

1. What negative effects in politics does L attribute to the Enlightenment theory of mind? (3)

2. What two roles does L see himself as having in writing this book? (4)

3. Does L think that most people have just one of the two competing modes of thought in their minds/brains? (5)

4. What is the standard way in which reason has been linked to (constitutional) democracy? (6-7)

5. How is reason understood in the 18th century view? (7-8) If this were right, what would politics be like? Is it like this? (8)

6. What are most people surprised to discover about thinking? (9)

7. Is the brain just in our heads? (10)

8. What three reasons does L give for his claim that the embodiment of mind matters for politics? (10-11)

9. If you are a political consultant who believes in the 18th view of the mind, what kind of advice will you give your clients? What would you be missing? (11-12)

10. What would (a theory of) deep rationality take into account? (13-14) What needs to happen in philosophy? (14)

11. Are all human mechanisms of understanding universal, regardless of culture? Are none of them? (14)

12. When does language "fit" reality? (15)

13. From what does language get its power? Why does L say that language is just the surface of the brain? (15)