Handbook of Neurosociology

Part of the series Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research pp 9-25


Neural Social Science

  • George LakoffAffiliated withDepartment of Linguistics, University of California Email author 

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The social sciences, of course, study the material causes of social and political effects: poverty, hunger, illness, homelessness, lack of education, joblessness, disparity of wealth, and so on. But how people think also has social effects: How do people understand morality, markets, the proper role of government, the nature of institutions, and so on? Reason enters into both enterprises: both reason used by social scientists and the form of reason attributed to the people they study. The Brain and Cognitive Sciences have shown that Real Reason—the way people really reason—is a matter of neural circuitry and has effects that are far from obvious.