George Lakoff Speaking in Austin

Austin Moving Forward, a progressive political group I’ve never heard of has cognitive scientist George Lakoff as keynote speaker at what I assume is an organizational meeting at St. Edwards University on Saturday, June 25. I’ve mentioned Lakoff here before. He is an expert on the cognition of language, and a Rockridge Institute fellow studying and writing about political debate is framed by the language used and how progressives can frame the debate in their favor. I think all political progressives, in fact the entire Democratic party, should read his essays on framing, especially Simple Framing, and How to Respond to Conservatives.

Lakoff’s main maxim is that the truth won’t set you free, unless it’s framed properly. Progressives tired of beating their heads against the wall of conservative rhetoric would do well to learn this.


7 Responses to “George Lakoff Speaking in Austin”

  1. Robbie Says:

    I’m a big fan of some of Lakoff’s work…despite being a centrist-Republican. Smart guy.

    How much do you want to bet, though, that during his speech, he won’t be asked about his views on sodomizing his wife?

    I wonder if that’s one of the tips he gives in “How to Respond to Conservatives”.

  2. Jefferson Says:


    I’m not a big fan of ad hominem attacks and quasi-slanderous innuendo, so I’m deleting your comment tomorrow if you don’t explain what you’re talking about.

  3. Texas Trifles Says:

    Don’t Think of An Elephant!

    This George Lakoff article would serve us all in terms of communication. Pattie does not like getting embroiled in political name calling and futile corner sitting, but I did enjoy reading this excerpt.

    Thanks to Jefferson for the link, and to Sc…

  4. Robbie Says:

    Jefferson…this wasn’t an attack of any sort.

    I was referencing the recent lecture of conservative pundit Ann Coulter in Austin earlier this month. If you are not aware of the incident, a UT student used vulgar language and gestures during the Q&A.

    My point (clearly missed) was to point out that Lakoff, a darling of the Left, is not as clearly respected nor as well liked on the Right. But, you won’t see a group of Conservatives attempting to disrupt his lecture nor try to otherwise shout down his rights to free speech.

    I just thought it ironic that Lakoff wrote a book entitled “How to Respond to Conservatives”, when the last time a conservative did speak in Austin, the Left clearly had no idea how to respond without getting arrested.

  5. Jefferson Provost Says:

    Sorry that I got defensive. I wasn’t aware of the context. I think behavior of the sort you describe on the part of the Left is one of the main reasons that Lakoff wrote the “How to Respond…” article. In it he urges people to be respectful. I’ve always found that kind of disrespect you mention distasteful.

    My hope is that Lakoff and others can return us to reasoned debate of ideas, rather than vitriol and personal attacks.

  6. Prentiss Riddle Says:

    FYI, the Coulter incident was a followup to an arguably more defensible question to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month.

    Personally I think that rude questions, while perhaps counterproductive, should never be grounds for arrest. The student was not a disruptive intruder on the proceedings and he was invited to ask his question during Q&A. Unless there were grounds other than the content of his question, I don’t see how his arrest is justifiable and I hope he challenges it.

  7. wjkell Says:

    Lakoff is a manipulator. He advocates using sneaky tricks to by-pass reason and trigger emotional responses. His so-called respect for people is a front for an elitist’s contempt of the common person.

    Why not expand your understanding about this? Go to

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