Darwin-L Message Log 1:180 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:180>From GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU  Mon Sep 20 12:36:05 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 93 12:04:05 CST
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Lakoff

What Lakoff is doing in "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things" - to
expand a little on what was said - is to propose that categorization
is not just used for things, but for mental objects as well (not a
new idea) including linguistic items (his contribution).  We categorize
grammatical constructions as well as words, all of this in terms
of `best instances' or prototypes (see the work of the psychologist
Eleanor Rosch) and better or worse instances which are arranged
around these prototypical examples.

Warning - the book is not easy to read since it is not as well
organized as one would wish (I've read it a couple of times and
worked through it with students).  I particularly recommend,
however, that you look at the case studies at the back which
are somewhat easier to follow and really give a sense of what
is so exciting about what Lakoff is doing.

           Margaret Winters

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