Summary of Whose Freedom?

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Whose Freedom? book summary


7 Overall

5 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


This is an impassioned, partisan essay about the definition of the word "freedom" from the perspective of a cognitive scientist and political liberal. George Lakoff's book starts as an interesting, thought-provoking argument that uses scientific insights to deconstruct the conservative position. In the end, however, he does not explain how today's raging debates will change American political discourse. His enumeration of the differences between progressives (liberals) and conservatives becomes tedious at times, since it's clear which side he takes. He addresses the book to progressives like himself - basically preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, getAbstract recommends this intelligent discussion to people across the political spectrum and, in particular, to communication professionals who wish to examine how the medium shapes the message - even on a neurological level.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How cognitive science says the brain processes words and thoughts;
  • Why progressives and conservatives are debating the definition of "freedom";
  • How their ideas differ; and
  • Why this fight matters.

About the Author

George Lakoff is a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Don't Think of an Elephant!; Moral Politics; Women, Fire and Dangerous Things and Metaphors We Live By (with Mark Johnson).



Freedom's Not Just Another Word
Words are powerful, particularly a word such as "freedom," whose strong emotional and ideological connotations can motivate people to act. A battle over the definition of this word is now taking place between two political ideologies in the U.S...

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