Lakoff critique

Paul Hopper hopper at
Fri Jun 10 13:34:17 UTC 2005

Thanks, Tahir, for bringing this article to our attention. Richard Lichtman raises significant questions about Lakoff's approach to metaphor and cognition that seem to me to be quite within the bounds of discussion in FUNKnet. Lakoff himself certainly understands his political activities to be driven by language and linguistics.

The fact is that once we open up the study of language to 'functions', any attempt to impose limits according to some private definition of what is and what is not linguistic in nature is certain to be arbitrary (e.g., no one objected to the discussion of evolution over FUNKnet in recent weeks or 'suggested' that it be moved to a biological site).

I hope, Tahir, that you will continue to note relevant contributions from the intellectual community for us, and not be intimidated by 'suggestions' as to what does and does not fall within our purview. Let's keep FUNKnet open for input from any source that our members perceive as relevant.


>>>> Tom Givon <tgivon at> 6/10/2005 2:55:17 PM >>>
> Dear FUNK people,
> With all due respect to Tahir, whose view I may even share, I would like
> to suggest that FUNKNET be kept free of political discussion. If you need
> to get at George (I have nothing against that, in principle), please do it
>  in a political forum. FUNKNET has, from the start, been a strictly
> professional forum. Let's keep it this way.  Peace,
> Tom Givon
> Sure, no problem. I just thought it might be of some interest. The article
> does raise for me certain issues of cognition alongside the political
> ones, but whatever ... Tahir

Paul J. Hopper
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA
Tel. 412-683-1109
Fax 412-268-7989

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