Comments on “The ethnomethodological flip”


Flipping by conceptual metaphor

Nick Hay's picture

I came at this flip from a different angle, the core of which I think was reading about the conceptual metaphors of mathematics in Lakoff and Núñez’s Where Mathematics Comes From. I read this starting from a rationalist/Bayesian mindset with the AI goal of figuring out how one might implement a (ideally eventually superintelligent!) system that could do mathematics and logical reasoning, including handling tricky problems like shifting ontologies. The hope was seeing how humans did it would give some insight. But there was something irritating/compelling with how humans did things in this different, messy, biological way….

Interestingly, conceptual metaphor like ethnomethodology is also a study of reasoning in practice, but using a cognitive linguistics lens.

Ethnomethodology, the 5th E

Yes, Lakoff’s work is compelling. I haven’t read his book with Núñez (and intend to).

Generally ethnomethodology is compatible with “4E” cognitive science (although the work process is quite different). One of the Es is “embodied,” which Lakoff understood earlier than almost anyone else in the field.

4E and ethnomethodology are both historically rooted in early 20th-century phenomenology, although by somewhat different paths.

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This page is in the section Part Two: Taking reasonableness seriously,
      which is in In the cells of the eggplant,
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      which is in ⚒ Sailing the seas of meaningness,
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This page’s topic is Rationalism.

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