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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday July 16, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 PM

Mathematics and Narrative
continued…

“Now, at the urging of the UC Berkeley cognitive linguist George Lakoff, liberal America’s guru of the moment, progressive Democrats are practicing to get their own reluctant mouths around some magical new vocabulary, in the hope of surviving and eventually overcoming the age of Bush.”

Marc Cooper in The Atlantic Monthly, April 2005, “Thinking of Jackasses: The Grand Delusions of the Democratic Party”

Cooper’s “now” is apparently still valid. In today’s New York Times, the leftist Stanley Fish reviews Talking Right, by leftist Geoffrey Nunberg:

“… the right’s language is now the default language for everyone.
     On the way to proposing a counterstrategy (it never really arrives), Nunberg pauses to engage in a polite disagreement with his fellow linguist George Lakoff, who has provided a rival account of the conservative ascendancy. Lakoff argues that Republicans have articulated– first for themselves and then for others– a conceptual framework that allows them to unite apparently disparate issues in a single coherent worldview …  woven together not in a philosophically consistent framework but in a narrative ‘that creates an illusion of coherence.’
     Once again, the Republicans have such a narrative– ‘declining patriotism and moral standards, the out-of-touch media and the self-righteous liberal elite … minorities demanding special privileges … disrespect for religious faith, a swollen government’– but ‘Democrats and liberals have not offered compelling narratives that could compete’ with it. Eighty pages later he is still saying the same thing. ‘The Democrats need a compelling narrative of their own.'”

Lakoff is the co-author of a book on the philosophy of mathematics, Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being.  From Wikipedia’s article on Lakoff:

“According to Lakoff, even mathematics itself is subjective to the human species and its cultures: thus ‘any question of math’s being inherent in physical reality is moot, since there is no way to know whether or not it is.’ Lakoff and Rafael E. Nunez (2000) argue at length that mathematical and philosophical ideas are best understood in light of the embodied mind. The philosophy of mathematics ought therefore to look to the current scientific understanding of the human body as a foundation ontology, and abandon self-referential attempts to ground the operational components of mathematics in anything other than ‘meat.'”

For a long list of related leftist philosophy, see The Thinking Meat Project.

Democrats seeking narratives may also consult The Carlin Code and The Prime Cut Gospel.
 

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