Hi, need to submit a 500 words paper on the topic Compare and contrast the writings of Lakoff and Turner. Mark Turner and George Lakoff: Mark Turner is cognitive scientist and linguistic. He has written many books on conceptual blending, conceptual linguistics, metaphor and rhetoric. He, along with Gilles Faucoinner, introduced the theory of “Conceptual Blending” in 1993. According to this theory, a number of ideas and relationships between them different situations are blended in subconscious, which are expressed in language and thoughts of people on everyday basis. He believes and explains through his theory that, earlier human beings acquired the ability to invent new ideas, concepts and mental patterns. This took place during the Upper Paleolithic Age. As a result, human beings became highly creative and invented religion, culture, art, science, machinery and language. This happened as a result of conceptual blending, which mainly take places in the subconscious and appears quiet simple at surface or conscious level. It is an intricate network of conceptual ideas producing cognitive ones. The process starts with a mental space where thought and consequent action take place. Different types of mental spaces, containing different type of thoughts, form a network. Different types of networks, then goes on to form a conceptual integration network. This integrated or blended mental space receives thoughts or inputs from other networks, inputs that aren’t present within the network itself. However, this isn’t a random process but take place under certain principles that control and supervise the entire process of connecting and receiving inputs from other networks. This theory applies to almost all fields of science and art. ( Turner and Faucoinner)

George Lakoff is also a linguistic expert presently teaching at University of California at Berkeley. Though most of his work is linguistically in nature, he is famous for his work that focuses on metaphor and its importance to human thinking, political rhetoric and society at large. He has also introduced the idea of “embodied mind”.

According to him, much of our thinking and action take places in terms of metaphors. One those ones escape this realm, which are very physical in reality. Otherwise, the more complex and intricate the ideas, the more they will expressed in terms of metaphors. He believes that the foundation of thinking process lies on metaphors. Thinking process develops and evolves with the improvement in the quality of metaphors. As the understanding of one domain of knowledge is applied to another domain, new channels and avenues for thinking are opened. These ideas were expressed along with co-author Mark Johnson in 1980 in the book “Metaphors We Live By”.

While explaining the concept of ” embodied mind”, he argues that the most difficult and abstract of ideas can be understood by simple mechanisms such as sensor -motor system and emotions. He believed that concepts such as “color” and spatial relations can be understood the examining working of motor system. More complex ideas of economics and morality can be understood through spatial relations. Finally, most concepts are too gray in nature, which means that very few things appear as black and white. He has supported the idea of “embodied mind” by using evidence from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, philosophy of language etc. In the field of politics, he writes in ” Moral Politics” that the victory of conservatives over liberals has been purely because of their better and strong use of language and metaphor for spreading their propaganda. He believes that with the use of proper metaphors, liberals will be able to find more supporters for their ideas. He has, recently, became member of Rock ridge Institute, a think tank aiming to helping liberals by using the ideas he expressed in the book.(“George Lakoff”)

The main different between Lakoff and Turner is that, while latter believes that the entire thought process is complex and intricate process, the former believes that it is comparatively simple process and one can understand the mind with much similar tools such as emotions and sensor motor system and without into much complicated details.


1) Turner,Mark and Gilles Faucoinner ,Blending and Conceptual Integration ,1993, 04 March 2007

2) “George Lakoff.”, www.wikipedia.com, 04 Mar 2007 .

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