Catalogue


Moral politics : what conservatives know that liberals don't /
George Lakoff.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1996.
description
xi, 413 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0226467961 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1996.
isbn
0226467961 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1822473
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [389]-413).
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-11-01:
What a family is and what it should be, how to protect it make it healthier are pressing issues of our day. Lakoff believes that most contemporary politics flows from contrasting views of the family. Lakoff argues that two images of the family--the conservative, more authoritarian model and the liberal, more nurturing model--explain differing attitudes on everything from the environment to criminal justice. Lakoff is an ardent liberal who has no doubt that "science" has disproved the efficacy of the conservative model of family, but he believes that many liberals misunderstand conservatism. They often dismiss it as an ethic of individual selfishness when it is actually a moral worldview deriving from a "strict father" model of family. David Frum's influential Dead Right (CH, Feb'95) is a recent example of a conservative argument that is more libertarian than moralistic in its approach, yet the perspective of Frum and others does not disprove Moral Politics; Lakoff's interesting and controversial book comfortably acknowledges the variations in any outlook. Academic readers. R. B. Fowler University of Wisconsin--Madison
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1996-03-25:
In this book, Lakoff, a professor of linguistics and cognitive science at UC-Berkeley and author of Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, examines the "unconscious system of concepts" underlying American political discourse. Basing his contention on a rhetorical analysis of that discourse, Lakoff argues that what conservatives know that liberals don't is that American politics is about family values. He observes that conservatives and liberals have very different notions of what constitutes an ideal family: while conservatives gravitate to the "Strict Father" model, wherein a strict, patriarchal structure is meant to foster responsibility in children, liberals favor the "Nurturant Parent" scenario, which prefers open, caring family interaction. Conservatives, Lakoff contends, have developed their own partisan moral-political concepts and language-a metaphor-based discourse that harkens to the conservative family model-while liberals have failed to do so. This is a failing Lakoff adduces to liberalism's Enlightenment tradition. In order to counter conservatives, he writes, liberals "must get over their view that all thought is literal and that straightforward rational literal debate on an issue is always possible." In the final, most interesting chapters of the book, Lakoff argues that liberalism is empirically superior to conservatism, offering proof in the form of childrearing studies and other research. Moral Politics is written in a dry, academic style, but it offers an intelligent take on the way politics is conducted in America. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, February 1996
Kirkus Reviews, March 1996
Publishers Weekly, March 1996
Choice, November 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Moral Politics takes a fresh look at how we think and talk about political and moral ideas. George Lakoff analyzed recent political discussion to find that the familyespecially the ideal familyis the most powerful metaphor in politics today. Revealing how family-based moral values determine views on diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programs, and the environment, George Lakoff looks at how conservatives and liberals link morality to politics through the concept of family and how these ideals diverge. Arguing that conservatives have exploited the connection between morality, the family, and politics, while liberals have failed to recognized it, Lakoff explains why conservative moral position has not been effectively challenged. A wake up call to political pundits on both the left and the right, this work redefines how Americans think and talk about politics.
Main Description
Moral Politicstakes a fresh look at how we think and talk about political and moral ideas. George Lakoff analyzed recent political discussion to find that the family--especially the ideal family--is the most powerful metaphor in politics today. Revealing how family-based moral values determine views on diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programs, and the environment, George Lakoff looks at how conservatives and liberals link morality to politics through the concept of family and how these ideals diverge. Arguing that conservatives have exploited the connection between morality, the family, and politics, while liberals have failed to recognized it, Lakoff explains why conservative moral position has not been effectively challenged. A wake up call to political pundits on both the left and the right, this work redefines how Americans think and talk about politics.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
The Minds and Politics
The Worldview Problem for American Politics
Experiential Mortality
Keeping the Moral Books
Strict Father Morality
Nurturant Parent Morality
Why We Need a New Understanding of American Politics
The Nature of the Model
Moral Categories in Politics
Social Programs and Taxes
Crime and the Death Penalty
Regulation and the Environment
The Culture Wars: From Affirmative Action to the Arts
Two Models of Christianity
Abortion
How Can You Love Your Country and Hate Your Government?
Varieties of Liberals and Conservatives
Pathologies, Stereotypes, and Distortions
Can There Be a Politics without Family Values?
Nonideological Reasons for Being a Liberal
Raising Real Children
The Human Mind
Basic Humanity
Epilogue: Problems for Public Discourse
References
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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