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July 27, 2022

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George Lakoff on Language and Climate Action

Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.

– George Lakoff –

George Lakoff on Language and Climate Action

“Why is it so difficult to act on climate change? Despite growing public awareness of the current climate crisis, the topic of climate change continues to thwart political and social systems across the globe, as it has for over 30 years. The reasons for this vary, but cognitive linguist and philosopher George Lakoff suggests that an inability to act on climate change may be ingrained into our most fundamental linguistic and cognitive systems. Lakoff is an emeritus professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the best-selling author of Don’t Think of an Elephant and Metaphors We Live By, and Co-host of the FrameLab Podcast. He is an expert in understanding how language is framed to suit personal and political agendas. In this interview, I turned to him to shed light on the linguistic and cognitive barriers to climate action, and what should be done to overcome them.” { read more }

Be The Change

Lakoff’s book Philosophy In The Flesh, coauthored by Mark Johnson, makes the following points: “The mind is inherently embodied. Thought is mostly unconscious. Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.” More in this in-depth interview with Lakoff from 1999. { more }

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