Study Questions for Lakoff and Johnson,
Philosophy in the Flesh, Part II

Study Questions by Dr. Jan Garrett

Last revised April 14, 2007

The numbers associated with the questions refer to pages in LJ, unless otherwise indicated. "LJ" refers to Lakoff and Johnson, the authors, or to Philosophy in the Flesh, which they jointly authored.

Chapter 14: Morality

1. What experienced values provide the source domains for many of our concepts of human well-being? (291-292)

2. How do the Well-being is Wealth and Moral Accounting metaphors work together? (292-93)

3. What role does the metaphorical notion of Balance play in Moral Accounting? (293-96.)

4. Why are there often disputes over tallying up the moral books in a fair way? (296-97)

5. What are rights, according to the Moral Accounting metaphor? (297) Duties? (298)

6. When we combine the Well-Being is Wealth metaphor with the Invisible Hand metaphor, what metaphorical concept of Morality is generated? (298)

7. Explain the significance and logic of the Morality Is Strength metaphor, including its entailments regarding being bad, doing evil, evil itself, and self-control. What two forms of moral strength are commonly recognized? (299-301)

8. What is the experiential basis for our original metaphorical notions of moral authority? (301) Distinguish the two opposite versions of the notion of parental authority. (301-302) In the Moral Authority is Parental Authority, how is a moral agent conceptualized? Morality (moral duty)? (302)

9. What is the Folk Theory of the Natural Order? How does that relate to the metaphor of the Moral Order? (303) In what ways has the Moral Order hierarchy been extended? (304)

10. Explain the way the Moral Bounds metaphor operates, given the background of how action is conceived in the Event-Structure metaphor. (304-305) What question "lies at the heart of many ethical and political debates"? (305) How are rights conceptualized given the Moral Bounds metaphor? (305)

11. What does the Folk Theory of Essence imply? Explain the Moral Essence metaphor? What view familiar from classical Greek moral theory seems to be a refinement of the logic of this metaphor? (306) What conservative and liberal programs are justified by appeal to apparent entailments of this metaphor? (307) Explain.

12. Explain the metaphors Moral Purity, Moral Cleanliness, and Moral Health. (307-309)

13. Explain Moral Empathy. Why is this a metaphor, rather than a literal experience? Distinguish between absolute and egocentric empathy? (309-310)

14. Explain the complex Morality Is Nurturance Metaphor. Note how it entails Self-Nurturance. Relate to Gilligan's notion of an "ethic of care." (310-11)

15. What is Lakoff's hypothesis about the relationship of mainstream conservativism, mainstream liberalism, and family values? About the ways culturally shared moral metaphors are organized? (312) What two premises support the hunch that morality might be based on models of the family? (312)

16. What metaphors play a prominent role in the Strict Father Family model? A subservient role? (314)

17.What metaphors play a prominent role in the Nurturant Parent Family model? A subservient role? (315-16)

18. What is the Family of Man metaphor and how does it help create a universal morality? (317)

19. How do different ways of conceptualizing the Parent produce different types of religious and ethical theories? (318-320)

20. How can some important classical moral theories be understood as versions of Strict Father or Nurturant Parent Universal Morality? (320-24)

21. Are there any full-fledged human moral systems that lack a prominent metaphoric component? Why do our metaphoric moral concepts tend to be stable over time? Are they developed in the same way everywhere? (325)

22. How do LJ respond to the claims (1) that how people actually reason is irrelevant to how they should reason? (2) that our moral concepts exist independently of moral metaphors? (326-28)

23. Explain some of LJ's arguments on why the traditional philosophical view of morality cannot work (328-33):
     (1) that there are no purely moral concepts;
     (2) that there is no pure moral reason;
     (3) that we lack a uniform consistent set of moral concepts;
     (4) that our moral concepts are grounded in experience of physical well-being and functioning;
     (5) that attempts at purely deontological ethics (as exemplified by Kant-and Rawls?) must be inadequate;
     (6) that we cannot compartmentalize morality, that there is no purely "ethical" domain.