Publication details [#9466]

Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco José. 1997. An interview with George Lakoff. Irony 6 (2) : 33–51. 19 pp.
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(from BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE, 1997) George Lakoff teaches linguistics and cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley. Together with such figures as James McCawley, Paul Postal, and Haj Ross, he was one of the founders of the Generative Semantics movement in the 1960's. This represented the earliest major departure from the standard Chomskyan Generative Transformational Grammar by demonstrating the fundamental role played by semantics and pragmatics in grammar. Since the mid-1970's Lakoff has become a leading figure in the development of Cognitive Linguistics, which grounds linguistic theory in empirical findings from the field of Cognitive Psychology. He has studied conceptual systems in depth, although the bulk of his most recent research has increasingly focused on metaphor and its consequences for abstract reasoning. He is the author of 'Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things', and co-author of 'Metaphors We Live By' (with Mark Johnson), and 'More Than Cool Reason' (with Mark Turner). His most recent book, 'Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't', analyses the language of political discourse and demonstrates that conservative and liberal ideas are based on opposite metaphorical models of the family and morality. At present, he is writing 'Philosophy in the Flesh', in collaboration with Mark Johnson, which interprets philosophy from the point of view of cognitive science. He is also working, with Rafael Núñez, on the metaphorical structure of mathematics. (Francisco Ruiz de Mendoza)