Brain Science, George Lakoff says, is overturning twenty-five centuries of Western Philosophy. The most basic philosophical ideas, ideas about truth and beauty, events and causes, mind and self, justice, morality, and what it means to be human, all are under siege today. Cognitive Science, according to Lakoff, is discovering that thought is mostly unconscious, abstract concepts mostly metaphorical, and that the mind is not just in the body, it is of the body; not separate from it, as in the old image of the ghost in the machine.
What all this means to Berkeley’s George Lakoff is that Plato, Descartes, and Kant were fooling themselves into thinking that they had constructed Great Philosophical Theories with something like pure reason. Their ideas, says Lakoff, are no more than elaborations of metaphors deeply rooted in our humanity that are probably oversold as universal truth. George Lakoff’s Philosophy in the Flesh is this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, author of “Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being” and “Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought.”