Category: taxonomy

Are there good and bad metaphors?

George Lakoff is famous (according to Wikipedia) for the “conceptual metaphor theory”, which is that people are influenced by the metaphors they use.

Intrigued by this claim, I read the short book Metaphors We Live By (1980), by Lakoff and co-author Mark Johnson.  Sure enough, …

How taxonomy becomes political

A recent book on Alfred Kinsey (Donna Drucker, The Classification of Sex, University of Pittsburgh Press) describes Kinsey’s great innovation as taxonomic.

By ordering individuals on a scale of 0-6 instead of a heterosexual-bisexual-homosexual triad model (or even a binary heterosexual-homosexual model), Kinsey shifted

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