CategoriesAre for Talking

On the Cognitive and Discursive Basesof Categorization Derek Edwards
LoucHsonoucH UNrvensny

ABsrRAcr. This paper_begins drawing a distinction between cognitive by and discursiveapproaches linguistic categorization,and it is arguddthat to gognitive approacheshave ignored the prime importance of d'iscourse. Rather than attempting to reject or refute the cognitive orientation in favour of a social alternative, it is argued that talk enlists cognition as a powerful element in the rhetoric of description and reality constructiofl. Important features of categorization, such as prototype structures, indefinitenessof membership, indexicality of applicati6n and contrastive organizationare shownto make senseasfeaturesdesignedfor the situated rhetoric of talk, rather than for displaying a persontsabstractedunderstandingof the world. It is arguedthat cognitive theories, while providing important insights into semanticorgani2ation,manage to suitain the explanatory primacyof perceptionand cognitiononty through the useof methods that systematicallyremove from view the flex'ibilitiesand action orientation of talk, while using imaginations situatedtalk as a of basisfor semanticanalvsis.

It is a widely held view in cognitive and sociar psychorogy that the ways in which people understand the world, act upon it and react to it depend upon how they categorize it. This implies that the study of categorization is capable of revealing some of the most fundamental organizing principles of human thought and action. The aim of this paper is to discusssome major recent work in categorization theory, including prototype theory (Rosch, 1978; Rosch, Mervis, Gray, Johnson, & Boyes-Braem, 1976)and especially George Lakoff's (1987) seminal study, Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. The main thrust of these recent developments is to emphasize the basis of finguistic categorization in the nature of bodily and perceptual experience, including its metaphorical extensions. Experientially rooted

'cognitive models' provide a basis upon which categories,including linguisticones, are comprehended and used. While recognizing many the

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important insightsof this work, I argue that it distorts our understandingof human categorization by removing it from contexts of social action. Although admitting the importance of perceptualexperiencein the semantics of categories, I argue that the explanatory status of that experiential basisis.subjectto principles of discursiveconstructionand deployment. By examining categorizationas a social practice, the explanatory significance of individual cognition and perception is recognized but diminished, becoming part of a range of topics, devices and resources that participants can use in the performance of communicative acts. While other significant critiques of category theory have been offered from the perspective of discourseanalysisand rhetoric (e.g. Billig, 1985, 1987; Potter & Wetherell, 1987), and I draw upon these, they antedatethe more recent studies, especially Lakoff's. They also focus mainly upon categorization in social psychology (particularly theories of stereotyping and prejudice), and argue againstits cognitive and experiential basis.For many cognitive psychologists,the cognitive-experientialbasis of semantic categories in particular, especially in the wake of Lakoff's and Rosch's research, is simply too well documented, too plausible and too well entrenched in accepted paradigms of method and explanation for these critiques to have much effect. One of the aims of this paper is to develop the discursive perspective on categorization while recognizing 'obvious' experiential referentiality of the well-documented and even categories. Lakoff's work on the experiential basis of categories(Lakoff, 1987; cf. Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) is a detailed and sophisticatedtreatment of the prototype and cognitive model approaches set in the context of a refutation of'classical' category theory. Classicalcategory theory is identified as a tradition dating from Aristotle, underlying computational models of mind and based upon notions of categoriesas sets of equivalent members, upon which logical operations can be performed. Lakoff's is a superb demolition of the relevance of classicaltheory to the explanation of ordinary human sense-making,especiallythe nature of categoriesin natural languages,but also other less likely conceptual systemssuch as scienceand mathematics, In particular, it provides an extended demonstration of the pervasiveness of bodily experiential imagery in the metaphorical generation and application of human categoriesin languageand in how worldly phenomena are understood. Insofar as this work deals with the semanticcontent of categories,it is by no means obvious that it must conflict with the principles of discursive and rhetorical psychology: for . . . people draw upon knowledgeof the organizationof categories (Potter & Wetherell, 1987, producing . . . intelligibleconversation. p. 127\

underlying processesand structuresof knowledge. Although linguistic categoriesmay be recognizedas culturally variable. but rather. However. and. D'Andrade. discourse manufactured of pre-existing is out linguisticresources with propertiesof their own. . blamings. refutations.etc. cf. which themselvesderive from innate structures. things are not quite so easy. denials. but as forms of social action. much like a bridge is put togetherwith girders. in a kind of division of labour. (McKinlay. being a processof assembling categorizations for making sense of experience. Rather than starting with the abstractedcontent of categoriesand then theorizing about how they are used. The discursive approach requires categories to be flexible. this is the major point at issue. function as actions fitted for their occasions.in press) It is tempting to put the two approachestogether.ready-madefrom a process in which people are trying their best to understandthe world (whether as individuals or together). p. accusations. It is a matter of how the burden of explanation is to be shared. This has a seriesof implications: 1. The cognitive approach tends to take discourse as a realization of. and in indefinitely many specificways. the cognitive approach fails to explicate how actual categorizations. even culturally provided ones. Discourse is assumedto be driven by cognition. . In contrast. . 137. but in the senseof taking meaning indexically. Lakoff might be seen as explicating the nature and origins of these 'linguistic resources' from which people construct discourse. From this perspective.culture itself tends to be seen as a kind of socially shared cognitive organization (Tyler.and from perception and action. indeed. the discursive approach treats talk and texts llot as representationsof pre-formed cognitions. in order to accomplish social actions (persuasion. We need to explore the relationship between 'resources'and situated talk.This idea has much to recommend it. have to be moulded in discourse for use in different accounts'(Potter & wetherell. concrete and so on. and therefore as evidence of.Potter. not merely in the senseof containing non-central members and having fuzzy boundaries. we would expect language's 'resources' not to come . the emphasis is upon their psychologicalorigin. their cross-cultural and universalproperties. We are always dealing empirically with indexicality. Heritage. things that are said.DEREK EDWARDS 517 . and their mental representation. while the discursiveapproach sayslittle about how words come to have systematic semantic properties.& Wetherell. in talk. 1969. to be shaped for their functions in talk. 1984). Categorization is something we do. or at least additionally. discursive psychology recommends starting with situated usage. for the businessof doing situated social actions. with a specific . 1990). Thus. 1987.and the aim of analysisis to explicate 'what is being done'. from contexts of situated use: 'the building blocks of our many versions of the social world .).

definitenessand spatial location. and how grammar puts them all together in a categorizeddescription of the world. such that whatever cognitive or perceptual statuslanguagehas. account. justification. or group of things being referenced. to do these kinds of things in talk. are categories. in terms of the kinds of discursivework they are functionally designed for. We shall concentratehere upon . thing. the kind of study associatedwith Whorf (1956) and Lakoff (1987). The remainder of this paper will gdopt the view that language is primarily a medium for the accomplishment of social actions. 3.It is an important element in how descriptionsand versions of the world are not only intelligible. blaming. excuse.A sentencesuch as'the cat sat on the mat'can be an4lysed for how a// of its words categorize objects. Circularities of definition and theorizing could be avoided by raising that imaginative process to the level of systematic empirical study. therefore. I shall argue that explorationsof the semanticsof categories has involved imagining situated usage while employing methods that remove it from view. but capable of performing interactional work. these are secondaryto and predicated upon that essentialand primary social nature. It is therefore encountered as part of the accomplishment of some social action: a reporting. and indexically. etc. description. property. 4. There is the linguistic notion of categorization. in press). events. It seems reasonable to assume that this is what linguistic categories are for. defence. It is argued that the experiential basis of categories is itself designed for talk. time. Category terms (their semantic content. Situated categorizations therefore perform moral work on the world described.518 ARE FoR TALKTNG cATEGoRTES 2. which recognizes that just about all words.etc. and whatever role it has in representing psychologicalexperience or worldly reality.) might fruitfully be examlned. 5. rather than for realistic knowledge representation. 6. not the entire possible set. event. Edwards & Potter. rather than how well they correspond to cognitively natural or perceptually derived organizationsof experience. text. as well as grammatical' and phonological structures. Categories and Categorization The cognitive psychology of categories includes two kinds of cognitive organization. etc. Categorization will always be encountered as part of an utterance. on the current interaction and participants who are producing and receiving the description (cf. argument. The idea is to explore the implications of this view for the cognitive psychology of categories.

Schegloff . 382). is especially interested in categorizations which are 'built into grammar .1989. p.. automatic kind of cognitive basis even for overt propositions. The second kind of categorization is propositional. any more than a semantic analysis does. 1987. used in thought. . The notion of automatic. Edwards and Potter. presupposes semantic categorization. schema-driven cognitive processing has drawn critical attention from proponents of discursive and rhetorical psychology. p. but about the functional organization of talk..1972. While propositional categorization might be assumedto be intentional. While grammatical and semantic categories are 'built into' language. domain in which categorizationcan be studied. So linguistic categoriesfunction like schemata. of the form 'dogs are animals'. propositional categorization. and its intersectionswith cognitive science. p. neither Rosch nor Lakoff see categorization as essentially linguistic. It is similarly d principle of cognitive anthropology. This is not to make claims about speakers'volition or motivation. language is just one. and therefore to provide an unconscious. This apparatus is of a sort that we share with other animals (categorizationis 'one of the most basicfunctions of all organisms'. and originates in characteristics perception of and action. albeit important. cf. The automatic applicationof categoriesis the negation of thinking. semantic categorization is assumed by cognitive theorists to be unconscious and automatic. There is a deeper psychological process: 'language makes use of our general cognitive apparatus' (Lakoff. 1976.'autonomous and automatic----once set in motion they proceed to their conclusion' (Casson. in ways that we don't even notice' (p. like Whorf (1956). Wooffitr. and treated as accountablyso by participants (cf. 1985). 335. Clearly. and so the specifically human basis of categorization is assured. 1987. Each species has its own perceptual and behavioural capacities. where a (named) entity is explicitly placed into a named category. what we might call semantic categorization. 337). not just as objecn of thought' (Lakoff .the basic classilicatoryprocesses are considered universal (Gardner. that the deployment of descriptive categories is organized in ways that are consequentialand implicative. p. Rosch et al.Potter and Wetherell (1987.(Billig. 1990). Rather. that while cultures clearly vary in their actual classificatory systems. p. 'much of our conceptual systemis used unconsciouslyand automatically. The rhetorical approach is also directed against cognitive automaticity: Categorization does not provide the basis of thinking in a simple sense. 140) .since it useswords. under the speaker'scontrol.58). in that it is essentiallya thoughtlessprocess. etc.D E R E KE D w A R D S 519 word meanings. 'Socrates is mortal'. 1983. 431). Lakoff. original emphasis). 1987. in press) draw upon studiesin ethnomethodologyand conversationanalysisto argue that talk is action-oriented.

but also entiating them. It suggeststhat semantic content will be organized preciselyso as to allow for rhetorical work to be done. Attribution Theory. and to the notion that categorizationsare perceptually natural generalizations that inevitably lead to social stereotyping. Taylor. However. 1979. etc. To the extent that drawing attention to particulars is done with words. and its discursive critique.largely untouched. 87). This is a virtually universal claim of cognitive 'shortcuts for organizing theories. 9 4 ) . 121). categorical judgements. forthcoming). availability and distinctiveness are important (Taylor & Fiske. action or person-into a wider or general category'.p. that categorization provides necessary p. as the act of placing entity-whether object. I shall return to this idea later. 1981. 1981) in which perceptual factois such as salience. and these words carry further. 1981. then the rhetorical approach can be seen as providing a principled approach to semantic categories as well. though contrasting. they leave the semantic contentof verbal categories. 1979. ones into grammar'. 'an Billig defines categorization propositionally. 1979. While Billig's arguments are a powerful corrective to ideas of cognitive automaticity in categorization.it is necessaryto deploy words. because it relies upon the discursive deployment of verbal categories. that are the prime focus of much of the linguistically orientated work on the cognitive bases of categorization. Hamilton. distinguishing and differgeneral categories. He showsthat even stereotypicalsocial categorizationsare frequently. But it is semantic categories. it uses categories.520 CATEGORIES ARE FOR TALKING Billig concentrates his critique upon the cognitive notion of categorization as a basic and inevitable feature of the biological need to simplify perceptual experience. (Billig. Nevertheless. Edwards & Potter. and start not with abstracted category content but with situated usage. rather than of semantic categorization. cf . in order to perform such particularizations.especiallyones not obviously to do with social 'built stereotypes. . and in a rhetorically organized way. in that people do not only place things into their 'particularize' things. if we take the course I have recommended. such that 'without any incoming information' (Taylor. categorization an organism could not interact profitably with the infinitely distinguishableobjects and events it experiences'(Mervis & Rosch. Billig's responseto these rather pessimistictheories is to point to 'one-sided' nature. Particularization is therefore a feature of propositional categorization. Wilder. as in'this cup is red'. sustained by appeals to the distinguishingcharactersof individual members: to the exceptions that prove the rule.'Socrates was Greek'. 1987.'Germans are efficient'. p . 1981. I n s o c i a l p s y c h o l o g i c atlh e o r i e st h i s i d e a h a s l e d t o t h e w i d e l y h e l d conclusion that social stereotyping and prejudice are inevitable outcomes of normal mental functioning (Cantor & Mischel.

Prototypes are defined as best examples. and which correspond to distinctive bodily actions: we sit on chairs. Chairs and tables are basic level . The root of meaning is in bodily action and experience.(Lakoff. coupled with 'cognitive economy' . Given any natural category. 1978). human-sized. while the discursive perspective concentrates on the rhetoric of social stereotyping.despite not being a distinction we would want to maintain for long. Roger Brown. Natural categories include natural language categories(words). which in turn link concepts to the structure of the physical world. as well as the categorical properties of perception and action that are thought to underlie language. 1987. in an early and influential paper. and learned first and most readily.Sparrows and robins are . image them. but do not do similar things with all kinds of furniture (Rosch. but as names for functional things. allows us to see how the discourse and rhetoric versus cognitive approaches can easily pass each other by. I have argued that a distinction between semantic and propositional categorization. It is Eleanor Rosch's major achievement to have shifted interest in categorization from artificial 'classical'sets of equivalent members. For example. like large red triangles and small blue squares. Basic level categories are the ones that are used most frequently. Natural categories are defined in terms of objects' physical uses or functions. but there are no actions that distinguish one speciesof flower from another' (1965. chairs and tables are more central members of the category furniture than are table lamps and filing cabinets. Words are treated not as functional things. whether basic level or not. towards the study of 'natural categories' (Rosch. and the everyday objects that they label. and behave towardthem with their bodies. and dining chair subordinate. Basic level categories re thus a . people are able to judge that some instancesor members of that category are more typical or centr4l than others. 318). independent of people. The cognitive perspective explores the meanings of semantic categories. p. . They dependnot on objectsthemselves. organizeinformation about them. We shall now examine how even the basic semantics of categories is subject to discursiveconsiderations. while furnitrzre is superordinate. Their relative strengths appear to be in different realms. 51) p. similarly remarks that 'flowers are marked by sniffing actions. 1978). 'Basic level' categoriesare determined by principles of perception and action. rather than the communicative uses of words.but on the way peopleinteractwith objects:the way they perceivethem..DEREK EDWARDS 521 Categories and Their Deployment In the previous section.

Rosch (1978. . p. Lakoff identifies the major sources as many sources' 'idealized cognitive models' (ICMs). . or as a matter of disputation. it portrays word meanings in a way that lends them to situated. 1967. . p. rather than claiming it as a direct model of mental representation. and its metaphorical extension to things in the world While discourse orientated theorists have been critical of prototype theory (Billig. typicality can be imposed upon talk's topics via the choice of categorical descriptions. . 149) And With imagination one could envisage a situation where the choice 'armchair' and 'chair' misht be keenlv contested: between terms such as . to construct and organize descriptions so 4s to centralize. Heritage. 1987. if. rhetorical practices. . unique descriptions(indefinitely multiple descriptionsare always possible: Garfinkel. has been parsimoniousin her interpretation of what prototypes imply about cognition. 56). (Heritage. 40-41). It could be said to meet discursivepsychologyhalf way. arguing 'prototype effects are superficial phenomena which may have that (1987.free recall. it is not merely. 198a. ICMs are kinds of schemata based upon bodily or perceptual experiencb. and this is true even for birds and chairs: . However. unlike many cognitive and social psychologists who have taken up these ideas. I am asked to'name some typical birds'.In other words. rather than just leing an analyst'sexplanatory idea. ostriches and penguins. it does possesssome attractions. and prototype theory can be seen as articulating how words typicalize the world. despite its treatment of categories in a decontextualized and idealized fashion.and other methods. It makes for opportunities to define things 4s more or less central.522 CATEGORIES ARE FOR TALKING more typical members of the basic category birds than are chickens. in a pencil and paper test situation. 1987). But neither is at all likely to come to mind when I am greetedat the door with: 'I've just put the bird in thc oven'. I may vcry likely mention robins and sparrows. marginalize or mark as exceptional whatever is described.the case that discourse deploys natural categoriesand prototypes ready-made. pp. Lakoff develops this idea in some detail. Potter & Wetherell. in that. recognition reaction times. precisely because things and events do not automatically call for single. limiting the notion to an important empirical discovery. It may be dealt with indexically. 1984). Centrality of membershipis itself a participants' concern: that is to say. something that participants orientate to in their talk. These intuitions are well supported by a large number and variety of empirical studies that use rating scales. developmental observations.

watson (197g) shows how the mere invocation of social categories (white. reflexively.Their use of the category is then not so much as an element in thought. 1978. Sacks. For example.Indeed. between social stereotypes and mere descriptions of people and human events. it is tempting to consider 'prototype' itself as a participants' topic. Sacks. black. protestant. Watson. there is no clear line to be drawn. 1985. this is surely a distinction too strongly drawn. but more like that of social psychologists themselves. and to differences of perspective.1 9 8 7 p . 1979. for whom it may be a problematical category with a controversial and provisional descriptive and explanatory status: not just a way of seeing. ( B i l l i g . 1979. 19gg) has been done on social categories. what counts as mere description or as stereotyping is the point a/ issuefor participants. but for talking about it in ways that are adaptable to the situated requirements of description. servesto bolster a speaker'sself-portrayalas blamelessvictim. and for the interactional consequencesof descriptions. Billig. and to the need to put words to work in the pragmatics of social interaction. Schegloff.but in contrast to this. 'the use of typical categorymembers is usually unconscious and automatic'. p. but to make typicality the topic of talk. itself to be explained by theory. quite apart from any propositional stereotyping.DEREK EDWARDS 523 this could be a situation involving law courts and allegations broken of contractualagreements betweenfurniture manufacturers wholesalers and . Barrett (1990) discusses conversations in which referencesto 'typical feminists' are flexibly and rhetorically used.but a way of constructingseeing. . potter. One of the things that people do in talk is not merely to deploy categories prototypically. As conversation and discourse analysis have shown (e. Jewish. a researcher'sconcept. in press). First.they also potentially display the speakeras positioned. .g. a priori. 1984. Lakoff (1987. 1979. Apart from being a largely unsupported presumption about what happens in ordinary conversation. 1 3 6 ) .g. For example. participants will deploy categorical descriptions accordingly. on that interactional basis. interestedand accountablein a loosely moral sensefor how things are described. 86) suggests that social stereotypesare 'usually consciousand subject to public discussion'. etc. Rather. inequities of membership and permit multiple and even contrasting possibilities for description suggeststhat language's category system functions not simply for organizing our understanding of the world.). 1972. Further. Jayyusi. The idea that semantic categories have fuzzy membership boundaries. and are rhetorically consequential. widdicombe and wooffitt. . becausecategorical descriptions involve choice. Most of the work on the flexibility and action orientation of categoriesin tafk (e. and make it problematical. Atkinson & Drew. while simultaneously providing . both subscribedto and also treated ironically by participants.

Predictably. and as structuring talk in an automatic manner.524 CATECORIES ARE FOR TALKING for a discrediting of his or her talk as interested. unexpected claims for typicality will be orientated to as controversial. So the categorization of physical objects becomes a means of implying social categorizations. rather than available in semantic categories. His discussion of stories like has much in common with Lakoff's notion of ICMs (Idealized Cognitive Models). much of the discussion of the cognitive basis of non-social categories deals with what are. Rather than typicality (even for furniture and fruit) being thought of as simply a given fact of worldly experience.But it placesthe statusof cognitive categorieson a lessautomatic. Normatively shared assumptions about mothers and 'I don't even want babies are similarly the backdrop of statements like babies. but then people do not say anything out of context. 'apples and People do not go around uttering abstracted propositions like oranges are typical fruit'. for physical objects as well as for social stereotypes. 86). This is extracted . 1987). The study of conceptual and descriptive typicality then becomes the study of how conversationists construct typicality in talk for things and events in the world. It is highly likely that such an approach will reveal a great deal in common with the findings of prototype studies. lessindividualistic explanatory footing. Rather. and occasioned by. p. or of competing explanations. disputation. like the 'Robins and sparrowsare typical birds. where the extent of flexibility in such matters is a conversationally accountable matter. biased and racist. are the occasion for statements of typicality. via the flexibilities of description. it referencesthat structure in a way that allows the speaker to have something to say. such as the fruit eater's fussiness or irrationality. 136) notes with regard to disputes about furniture (in the example cited earlier). uncontroversial propositions. Maybe it would make senseto say it in an afgument with someone who exhorts the benefits of eating fruit but refuses to touch apples and oranges. requiring arguments and accounts.and is rhetorically played out in ostensibly mere description and counter description. Sacks(1974)provides a celebratedanalysisof the normative background 'The baby cried. smelly. it involves how we make senseof the text in terms of the typical kinds of things that mothers and babies are thought to do. especially 'typical outside of any context of use. But it is not simply that talk realizes the structure of an underlying cognitive model. as Billig (1987. Second. as occasions for. Controversy and the pos5ibility of disagreement.in science as well as in ordinary talk (Latour. I think they're horrible. dirty little things'. The mommy picked it up'. it can be studied in conversationfor how it is constructed and deployed. Apples examples'that Lakoff cites: and oranges are typical fruit. Saws and hammers are typical tools' (p. The issue of social stereotyping and prejudice is at stake in the interaction. and one less reducible to the properties of semantic systemsand cognitive structures.

and speakers performingsuchwork rely upon hearers in order that their utterances make definitesense. Indexicality and Rhetoric Having broken down any sharp division between the cognitive characteristics of verbal categories and their situated deployment. Approaching categorizationas a practice. providing meaning to language. and as far as language is concernedpossiblymore so: the arena of social action. It is part of a discussionthat disagreedwith a suggestionthat mothers should stay home to look after their children. The idea of cognitive schemata. challenging and recruiting it for the accomplishmentof social actions. these are not sustainablefor long as distinct 'arenas' of meaning. .1984. normative knowledge can itself be studied as a topic and outcome of talk. means dealing with talk's situatedness(indexicality) and with its interactional and argumentative organization (rhetoric). The nature of taken--for-granted. There is another arena of meaning. derived from processes of embodied. Indexicality concerns how situational and linguistic context are invoked: . .so that idealized cognitive models do not slip into becoming idealized models of cognition. in the adoption of rhetorical positions. that we can make sense of how particular categorizationsare constructed on occasions. we can now explore the implications for categorization theory of two important features of situated talk: indexicality and rhetoric. But it is only by studying how such normative assumptionsare oriented to in talk. While talk is clearly orientated to a backdrop of normative knowledge and expectation. realistic perception. talk reflexively indexes the speaker and makes availablea range of implications and inferences concerning the speaker's interests. has the explanatory traffic going too much in one direction. hearers mustperform activecontextualizing work in order to seewhat descriptions mean. altering. rather than as a semantic/ait accompli. thoughts and feelings. where appeals to perceptual reality and direct experienceare part of talk's persuasiveness. . 260).DEREK EDWARDS 525 from a young woman's talk studied by Barrett (1990. Further. the status of such models as 'idealized' allows them to operate normatively in just this way. it also evokes and acts constructivelyupon that background. 147-148) Since part of talk's indexicality includes the person who speaks. will (Heritage. efforts at accomplishingparticular social actions. It by no means refutes Lakoff's notion of ICMs. knowledge. amongst the devicesdeployed in producing convincing descriptionsand versions. and so on. Indeed. just as primary as perceptual experience.p. pp.

and. and operate as alternative descriptions that indexically display social positions and identities. or are assumed to think. Perhaps even the linguistic categories of snow.great insight to suggestthat it is precisely for such significances. both for the objects and persons described. .over and above perceptual distinctiveness and bodily use. apart from being perceptually and behaviourally consequential. . being invented precisely for such . invented and used in order to make distinctions in the world. for their perceptually distinct and behaviourally consequential characteristicswould be a psychologically trivial exercise. in just the way they exist. They do not reflect distinctions that are already there. such that it is only the fact of their perceptual distinctivenesswhich is trivial. for what it means to own and drive a Porsche. not only in current talk. no surprise. or of American cars. are used in ways designed to perform social actions. and are named. members' categories. 308) complains that: professorhas to suffer at the Possibly the most boring thing a linguistics is discussion the 22 (or of handsof eagerundergraduates the interminable however many) words for snow in Eskimo. but the issue need not be. but in a historical sense. and it is no. so that they can be socially deployed. It may well be that examining the range of kinds of snow.a group of 1960steenagers. and so are amongst the considerations that are orientated to in talk's production. It is no more surprising namesfor cars. that they are organizedpersuasively with regard to what other people say or think. 'hotrodder' and 'teenager' are contrasted as adults' versus Similarly. they havea suitablylargevocabulary. The notion that talk displays a rhetorical organization (Billig.987. 'hotrod' and 'Pontiac station wagon' He shows how the choice of terms like are opposed. . that the different models are produced. p. Sacks (1979) provides a brief but revealing study of some naming practices of American car users: specifically. a safety-consciousVolvo or the top-of-the-range nrodel within a fleet of company cars. to define membership in ways that are relevant to the accountability of actions. This showsalmost nothing about a conceptualsystem. for both objects and persons. applied to the same sets of persons. Category terms. through that. the categoriesmay well exist. . When an entire culture is expert in a It's and it's domain . But the various makes and marques of motor cars carry powerful semiotic significances. or might think. for the producers of those descriptions. Lakoff (1. For motor cars. Americanshavelots of no big deal. The essaysmay be boring. badged and marketed. . .526 cATEcoRIES ARE FoR TALKING These indexicalities of talk are available and responded to as such by other participants. . are also shaped for description and accountability. not merely to reflect reality (whatever that would be!). 1987) also recognizes that versions and descriptions (including categorizations) perform social actions. than that .

of senior government ministers. since it is essentially through and for those practices that the categories are brought into 'distinguishexistence. Heider. political talk provides a rich vein of rhetorically organized categorizations. for reading what is going on in the following statements: I think it was Pierre Mendes-France who said that to govern was to choose. and for opposition politicians. following his assumption of the leadership of the conversative Party.The ways in which accusations indecisiveness of were made were sensitiveto considerations of what they might imply about the accuser.but also their situated deployment. and this was available to be constructed either as fault (and cause of her downfail). but it.1972). 1992. It is worth examining one such casein some detail. having appointed an independent economic adviser (Professor Alan walters) whose views of economic policy were publicly at odds with Lawson's (see Edwards & Potter. nor even their conventional metaphorical extensions. . both for fellow conservatives.(Lawson in parliament.30 March 1990) I believeit's said of one very distinguished cabinetmember very unkindly .I agree with that. one of the issuesconcerning the British prime Minister John Major. 1969. It would not be possibleto establishthe existenceof named objects. on issuesthat included rhatcher's alleged high handednesswith them. rather. prior to the construction of such naming practices. and also the interactional work that such descriptionsperform.interest' in such criticisms. bodily actions and significancesin the physical world. John Maior. was widely consideredto be authoritarian. This does not deny that named objects have to be able. Accusations also had to be made against the specific background of how Major got to be Prime Minister. Thatcher's eventuar removal had been preceded by the resignations.s . forthcoming). Lawson's resignation was made on the basis (he claimed) that Thatcher was undermining economic decisions. Potter & Edwards. .DEREK EDWARDS 52'l uses. and of course I cannot claim it as disinteresteddescription. his predecessoi. wowk. and earlier the chancellor Nigel Lawson. since it is details that show how background knowledge and expectationsmay be invoked in relation to situated categorical descriptions. against whom a charge of disloyalty might be levied. and often these are managed not by overt categorical name calling but. Mrs Thatcher. It is not just the definitional. . abstractly definable content of words or categoriesthat we have to consider. including the Foreign Secretaty Sir Geoffrey Howe. . This is a partial background. or in behaviour. indirectly via indexically provided implications (cf. was his claimed lack of decisiveness. who could be expected to hive an . 19g4). or as virtue (a device for rebuking her critics). and I don't wish to imply this to . therefore. And to appear to be unable to chooseis to appearto be unable to govern. whether they are motor cars or focal areas of the colour spectrum (Berlin & Kay.

1979). Walters' use of experiential imagery (the imprint on the cushion) is.g. decisivenesscan be rhetorically reversed as authoritarianism. And interest is crucial. the operation of the metaphor is via its status as a description of John Major. Similarly. . background understandings(ICMs) of what it ideally or normatively means to be a democratic political leader are being invoked. having to be done implicationally by the hearer. as happened with Thatcher. but rather allies himself with some distant and disinterestedspeaker who is quoted as making a pithy generalization.he bore the imprint of the last personthat BBC1' April 1990) had sat on him. . via quotation and hedged with denials. so that Walter's own categorical status as an interested and thus discountable describer is rhetorically countered.Woolgar. Both Lawson and Walters can be understood as performing categorical work on themselves and on Mrs Thatcher as well as bn John Major. Lawson offers (in the above extract) no overt description of Major. 1984. like Lawson's version. Its application to Major and the iisues at hand are indexically achieved. Goffman.528 ARE cATEGoRIES Fo1 saidhe .an example of the tinds of metaphorical categorizations that Lakoff (1987) analyses. Lawson achieves an ostensibly neutral footing (cf. cushions and sitting. But. or their theories of the Prime Minister's personAlity. By overtly merely citing someone else. It hinges upon how successfully one side or the other can bring off such a categoriCal attribution as a matter of disinterested description. But again. who is thus recruited to the accomplishment of Lawson's rhetoric. and what counts as an example is just what is at stake. not the world. . Political discourse might be considered a soft test for a rhetorical theory of categorical descriptions. Gilbert & Mulkay. It would clearly be ingenuous to take such versions as indications of the speakers' cognitive theories of government. the more controversial they . . including the expectation that such a person should be decisive. and the exiension of this to the realm of thought. it depends upon our knowledge of anatomy. we get into the midst of controversies. Lawson's and Walter's categorizationsof Major cannot be taken as mere indications of how they think or interpret the world. social influence and personality. becausea self-servingversion of events merely indexes the speaker. The closer we are. are made.Panorama. Indeed. . undoubtedly. But studies of the discourse and rhetoric of scientifii knowtedge (e. (Alan Walters. 1988)display this also as an argumentative competition for description and explanation' at least for sciencein the making: When we approach the places where facts . and this is contextually achieved and carefully managed. There is a clear rhetorical and indexical organization to them that sets aside any such assumptionsof relations between thought and word. the discussionof Major could plausibly be seen as an opportunity for doing just that. waslike a cushion.

3 0 ) . we turn now to an examination of the status of bodily experience in discursive constructions of reality. which is in turn constrained by reality. who distinguished between noumenq. metaphorical conceptions of anger.from the man in the streetto the men in the laboratory. Being bolstered against both sides. and phenomena. 260). with exemplary rhetorical irony. agitation. experiential realism is neither one nor . one of their effects is that of connecting categorizations to the specifics of experience. and technical. pressure. Its invention an is due to Kant.when we go from 'daily life' to scientific activity. Perception and Reality I have argued that indexicality and rhetoric are key features in the deployment of categorical descriptions. a position he calls 'experiential realism' or 'experientialism'. using inversions and reversals to turn strength into weakness. birth. bodily experience. the'realism'component rescueshim from the solipsism of 'total relativism'.p. the term has been adopted in ordinary talk to refer to the objects of worldly reality. Thus. I shall argue in the next section that it is a pervasive process in ordinary talk to deploy the terms of perceptual experience to construct an effect of obiective realitv independent of talk. Experientialism is Lakoff's basis for rejecting the doctrine of 'metaphysical realism' (p. 1 9 8 7p . xu). based upon the different criteria of genetics.DEREK EDWARDS 529 . become. Mother is a category that invokes a cluster of ICMs. human categorizations are based upon. from passion reason. coupled with the operation of appropriate cognitive models to do with heat. or metaphorical extensions of. we go from controvergies fiercercontroversies .irom heat to to cold. Lakoff's thesisis that 'reasonis made possibleby the body' (1987. on the other hand. when debates to . xv). the real world beyond the senses.from politicsto expertopinion. and to the rhetorical force of a perceptually available real world. But rhetoric can operate like the martial art of judo. for example. marriage and genealogy. Experiential realism is a position that is well placed rhetorically for defence from attack on both sides.The 'realism' element is the assumption of 'the existenceof the real world' (p. the sensory appearances of things. and to the status of science as a criterion of reality and as a benchmdrk for the identification of cognitive processes. we do not go from noise to quiet. and so on. are based upon the subjectiveexperience of autonomic nervous system physiology. Even the term phenomena possesses interestinghistory. are so exacerbated that they becomescientific (Latour. nurturance. to the context in which categorizations are deployed. in which reality is independent of human embodiment.

sustainedand defended.This is what Lakoff provides in his summary of work such as Brugman's on bodily imagery in the semantics of Chalcatongo Mixtec. Eglin. people deploy what we might call referential experientialism. In discourse. by appealing to science. Like experiential realism. The appearance-reality distinction is rhetorically effective in that it recognizes the obviousness of appearances.In rhetoric. or a preferred version. which is abundant as Lakoff shows. d i f f e r e n c e . it subverts that version in favour of a purportedly more insightful and adequate analysis (cf. 1987. & Green. This is exactly what Lakoff does. p. Flavell. 1974. can be Flavell. not unless we go outside of descriptive practices and disputations. 1988). and an underlying reality 'Appearance' which representsthe true situation. and in most of his analysesof metaphors in English. 1983). therefore.m a d e . as for example in the caseof Linnaeus and the taxonomy of plants. It does not constitute a case for realism.532 CATEGORIES ARE FOR TALKING a topic for explanationsof children's cognitive development (Bruner. will often be couched as a perceptual metacognition: what things look. sound or seem like. 1987. unnecessary and futile pursuit. people sometimes warrant accounts. But in order to serve such a purpose. despite the fact that Lakoff's entire text is couched as one. At the same time. demonstrates something about the basis on which claims to knowledge are made. a language of Western Mexico (Lakoff. 1979. or pursue rhetorical aims. only for difference and error. via positing a distinction between superficial appearance. Lakoff recognizes that science is a human practice in which bodily experienceplays a shaping role. 1987). where the defining taxonomic characteristics are shown to be closely referenced to what could be seen and done with them (p 35). and are willing to settle the matter of reality over the heads of participants. appears to be a residual.which means that bodily experienceoffers a basisfor a set of images. the contrary distinction between appearance and reality functions in ordinary talk as a rhetorical resource. But what happens when scientists disagree? Lakoff's position allows no legitimate room for debate. Evidence for referential experientialism. Lakoff's realism can be sustained only by appeal to some criterion that is capable of transcending the experiential and metaphorical domain of folk understandings: science itself. and also as a noticeable feature of things or events that figures as a preface to their denial. Potter. When people disagree or offer inconsistent versions of the world they are simply applying different cognitive models. perceptualappearance discursively deployed both as a warrant. In conversation. metaphors and other devicesby which things are described. Argument. scientific argument has to be quietened and reduced to cognitive 'cold' (Latour. and so acknowledges the basis for one's own or the other person's (possible) understanding-that it is accountable in terms of appearance. 313).

via the application of different cognitive models. 7987. This is because cognitive models are idealized. p. If words did not carry categoricalimplications. What psychologists call 'within-subject variability' has provided grounds for critiques of objectivist versions of science (Gilbert & Mulkay. and especially variations within persons at different times. Variability is de-socialized. shared either as cultural or folk models or universally.DEREK EDWARDS 533 Cognitive Models. trying to solve problems.'but also the same people. we have to look at the pragmatics of situational usage. apart from the notion that different problems need different solutions. possessing 'lack of greed' anci a 'qrlite selfish being and greedy' (Potter & Wetherell . and the order is that of discursiveaction.each imbued with culture. The same white New Zealanders could say of Maoris that 'they're proud' and 'they've lost their pride and dignity'. in order to understand variability. Lakoff (1987. will offer different categorizations of the same phenomena. are matters that require further cognitive explanations. in a world apparently populated by a lot of Robinson Crusoes. and also of cognitive and social psychology. it is not that there is no order of a cognitive sort. k is only by replacing such categorizationswithin their specific discursive settingsthat orderliness returns. or else methodological procedures that remove them from view. We are given no sense of why one cognitive model rather than another is applied. 1987). 1984. 1985. if we did not know what greedy means. 124-125). and that their experiential statusis not so much a guaranteeof realism as a resource and topic for intelligible and convincing talk.One of the linchpins of the cognitive approach to categorization is the idea that categories and categorizations are shared properties of minds. This means that variability between persons in how they categorize things. But he offers no basis upon which people might vary in that way. subject to the workings of indexicality and rhetoric. This is the case for scienceas much as for common sense. Discursive psychology suggests that. describethem as a 'lazy race' and 'such hard working people'. pp. including categorization theory (Billig. Folk Theories and Variability I have argued that categorizations can fruitfully be studied as situated discursive practices. not specific to actual instances. Potter & Mulkay. The study of situated descriptions leads us directly into examining categorizations terms of the rhetorical ends they in accomplish. 1985). rather than perceptual sense-making. except as a result of their best efforts to understand the world. And doing that brings us into conflict with any ideal that categorization as something people do can be handled by appeal to categories as merely reflecting speakers' understandings. Again. in this situation or that. thev would be unable to serve rhetorical . 118) appears to avoid the impact of such critiques by recognizing that not only different people. Potter & Wetherell.

in order to start to see their relationships. describing. p. and which they use f o r i n t e r p r e t i n ge x P e r i e n c e . ICMs are sourcesof error. 1990. and according to which the degree of fit is calibrated. may thai we have'(Lakoff. It would appear reasonable-to suggest categorizations are designed for the social semantic and propositional psychoactions of talking. The argument is that it is only through examining the pragmatics bf situated talk that we can discover what those categorical implications are. we need to begin with distinctions between language and knowledge.twocognitivemodelsoneneedstheconceptof. defining what is prototypical. which the ICMs and folk theories do not fit. 1'975). their scope and flexibility. since they are abstractecland idealized. But if cogrritivemodels are not themselvesthe means of calibration. 118). But on an individualist. one has to wonder. such as frames (Minsky.are experiential ICM. people and events that members of cultures supposedlyhold in common.fitting'one's of ICMs to one'sunderstanding a givensituationand keepingtrack of the (1987. 1986). It seemsof little value to have in devices that simplify and codify reality. and language and reality. 68). and which underlie the principles of categorization. how exactly that we need: dJwe know what the world is like? Lakoff suggests .and will not precisely'fit the actual worlds of the objects being categorized' (D'Andrade. except as a rhetorical device in itself. scripts (Schank & Abelson. 1987. p. with some piece of knowledge may not fit the world well'. pp. Idealized models 'conflict . if this secondform of cognition is available. ti Latoffs theory. 1975) and cognitive grammar (Langacker. why we need ICMs at all.folk theoriesl (Lakoff. but as idealizations of them. deployed both . In a discursive no process of'reality checking' that is independent of logy there can be in descriptions.Indeed.taking positions.. *liich grasps and keeps track of the world in finer detail and serves as the n]"aruie of ICMs. exceptional. 1987. 93). it is not clear how actual objects and events are 'may or apprehended. One of the problems for ICMs and folk theories is that. 1977). These are allied to other proposals for interpretative cognitive structures. There appears to be another kind of knowledge at work. and expected. etc. . p. 13G-134). perception and action orientated view of cognition. and the principles of their deployment. In this regard they are also allied .534 cATEcoRIES ARE FoR TALKING purposes. . is known. when they can only be applied that still has to perform all that specific reality company with a process that apprehending *oit anyway. see Lakoff (1987. the structures that mediate between language and reality.They operate not as direct representations of actual things or events. which are the large set of often with incompatible principles and explanations for objects.p' 7l) in respects which the fit is imperfect. by which an actual and real world. schemas (Rumelhart .

But this assumesa relationship between scienceand the world that transcends human sense-making and discursive practices. .constructive and rhetorical dimensions in how all versions of the world are produced. . So different measuresof consistency taken as warrants for each other.biology. .1990. the contrast between 'folk taxonomies'and'true scientifictaxonomies'. 120).: cf. both about science and about folk explanations. if that is.rather than an indication of multiple perspectives.p. . D'Andrade. But it turns out that the consistent 'better educated .DEREK EDWARDS 535 science and in ordinary talk. [And] are more likely to give responsesthat are consistentwith each are other' (D'Andrade. . when humangroupsare systematically disagreement aboutmost itcms. 119). there is variability. and most obviously 'folk' versions. and tend to have more experience in that task domain' (p. . these are primitive efforts at what scientists are supposed to be doing when they produce generalized explanations (Churchland. These assumptions are probably false. Stich. Variability is an important cue to the rhetorical organization of versions (Potter & Wetherell. Far from being an interesting and revealing feature of discursive practices. 87). 118) little The worry that this might result in a statisticalartifact possessing 'persons who are psychological reality is assuagedby an assurancethat on more likely to give modal responses a task are more likely to be reliable. 1983). as we have seen.variability may instead be cast as a methodological nuisance: problemsin cognitiveanthropology individual is One of the persistent surveyed. One way to avoidthis considerable problemis to treat the mostfrequentlyheld items-the modal items-as if p.p. 198'7). . and a relationship between discourse and knowledge such that when people produce versions of the world. . D'Andrade seemsoblivious to the circularity of such task-related judgements of intelligence. judged more informers are also those who are intelligent . for 'externalizing' descriptions as mere reflectionsof reality (Woolgar. The analytic methods used by Lakoff and other cognitive theorists for defining ICMs and folk theories exclude whatever rhetorical sensevariable categorizationsand versions may have when examined in their discursive contexts. and to the possibility that these subjects are precisely those who are more sophisticatedwhen it comes to liguring out . 1988. .as we see in Gilbert and Mulkay's (1984) analysisof consensus in science. but also as criterion and supplanter of folk theories of the world (physics. etc. 1990. they were /he cultureof the group. to appeal to scienceas not only the revealer of the real nature of cognitions (cognitive science). (D'Andrade. . Another device for escaping from this cognitive conundrum is. to give the same responses the task is presented at a later time . the inconsistency folk theories or of of methodological difficulties. 1980). 1990. in that they ignore the contextualized.

all those other voices. Discussion about language shifts from lexical categories (chair. v e r s i o n sl i k e t h e o r i e s . etc. a category in the sense that chair is one? Are linguistic categories to be the infinitely many things 'the infinitely many we can describe with however many words. one can imagine being blamed for leaving behind the drinks or the bottle opener. What happens is that assumptions about situated talk are made. Without some principle by which such descriptive categorizations are located within. it appears to be an abstracted categorical level somewhere inbetween furniture and chair. and treating them as telling us what the speaker understandsabout the talk's topic. something to sit on might include a tree stump. etc. with typical and central members. This means that it is sometimes unclear what cognitive theorists are theorizing about. to Barsalou's (1983) things to take on a picnic. between looking at bits of language. p. It is perfectly reasonable to claim that categorizations such as things to sit on and things to take on a picnic will have prototype properties. or table. It is then easyboth to overextend and to underestimatethe range of phenomena that a cognitive theory has to account for.536 cATEGoRTES ARE FoR TALKTNc what sorts of answers the questioner wants. such as things we can describe with however many words'? In situated usage. What makes this. discourselike cognition. It is not that an analysis of language that ignores situated talk will fail to take it into account. to more linguistically conventionalized terms like kitchen chair. and are themselves. then it is easy to glide between studies of language and theories of knowledge. But these are intuitions that draw upon imagined social practices.) to groupable items such as things to sit on (Lakoff.imagining them as bits of talk. 1987. It is decontextualizationfrom situated practices that makes culture look like grammar. sofa. Folk theories are analytically abstracted from imagined discursivepractices. more reasonablythan the newspaper or the dictionary. Lave. Much of the discussion of ICMs is set in an implicit discursive context in which they figure as ways of talking. l2l). stool. .'or things to sit on. can be discarded in favour of a selected set of 'representative' and consistent responses. or carpet. Discursively. The abstracted. so that all the rich variation in the data. 1988). 52). it is simply concluded that 'those who give the more modal responses display the behavioral characteristics of an expert' (p. and these intuitions then form an unexplicated basis for analysis. cognitive and discursively disembedded nature of conceptual knowledge is therefore a product of assumptions and methods that prevent it from looking any different (cf. But for Lakoff. Rather. social practices (categoriesthat people actually and intelligibly use and do things with). Asking how people ordinarily categorize things is not the same as asking how they make abstracted judgments of category membership.and treated as a separateexplanatory realm.

for addressing differences of perspective. p. Similarly. but organized contrastively.' While Lakoff's focus is upon cognitive and semantic 'systems'.rather than methodically inventing. though not accorded significance in this way. by cognitive theories: 'categoriesare organized into systemswith contrastingelements' (Lakoff. are likely to be not only variable and inconsistent. 96) emphasizesthat ICMs provide for the senseof particular semanticcategorizations. and metatheoriesof the perceptual nature of human understandings in general. a system. s u c h t h a t t h e s a m e s p e a k e r sw i l l d r a w u p o n ' t w o . This is becausethe non-arbitrarinessof experiential referencing can easily. as issues referenced and orientsted to in talk. once placed in the context of situated descriptions. and giving principles that generate. the kinds of evidence that Lakoff cites are quite compatible with the idea of bodily experience. Developments in the cognitive psychology of categories are not as far removed from situated practices as might be feared. idealizing and deleting it. cognitive models. seem to provide a guarantee for how the world is being described.rather than predicting what these shall be: 'There is a big difference between giving principles that motivate or make sense of. Referencing bodily experience is a rhetorically powerful descriptive resource. Categorieshave to be like that in order to do talk's business.Category featuressuch as fuzzy boundariesand prototype structures permit flexibilities of situated description. On the other hand. It is not only a feature of how we understandthe world.begin to allow for the kinds of flexibilities of situated categorization that discursive psychology requires. Indeed. the fact that indefinitely many alternative categorical descriptions are possible for any event or situation is also important rhetorically. or predict. and normative expectations. Experientialism and ICMs. 1 3 3 ) . or how people make senseof the world.for arguing and persuadingand blaming. the system. not simply to reflect how the world is. Setting realism aside. or how minds work. 1984). Cognitive theorists need to consider how linguistic categories are designed for talking. his approach speaks also to the requirements of situated practices. 1987.DEREK EDwARDS 537 Conclusion I have argued that cognitive theories of categories and categorization have assigned too great an explanatory weight to the experiential basis of the process. This means taking talk seriously. and to what it tells us about how and what people think. Lakoff (1987. but the major platform upon which categorizationsare able to perform social actions (Heritage. 56). for theorists as well as for conversationalparticipants. or folk theories. p. providing 'contradictory ways of understanding s i t u a t i o n s ' ( o . this is recognized. and whatever other interactional functions are servedby the constructionof reality in talk.

213. for disagreeing. requiring the addition of another kind of cognition that deals with specifics. Condor. they seem to be inconsistent and contradictory. cf. and for undermining such claims in others. talk and disputation. It provides a iense). in terms of function and rhetoric. were it not for the abundance of evidence to the contrary. there is no senseof why we even have language. Further. What is real. It also seemsto require some version of realism. The organization of semantic categories and of folk models in terms of contrasts and oppositions seems arbiirary on perceptual grounds. on discursive in ideological thinking. but by design. removed from social practices. between categorization repertoires). Latour & Woolgar.we can only of join in the debate. and also for inconsistency and contradiction. culture is conceived of as shared mental representations. since again. That such talk is then couchedin the semantics bodily experience. as a persuasive device for offering versions of a reality that is beyond experience. & Radley. it needs a principle of mapping perceptions and descriptions onto the world' In contrast. They are too generalized to account for specific referential practices. on cbntradictions in folk models of marriage). and it places a central emphasis upon the specifics of situated. There are features of semantic categories. 1986. placing no such requirement either upon perception or upon science (which can also be studied as a culturally embedded social practice: Lynch. and the logic of rooting categorizations in bodily experience would in itself argue for homogeneity of human concepts. There is indeed a close relationship and perceptual experience. 1988. folk models and ICMs that are problematical for a perceptual-cognitive metatheory.538 cATEGoRIESARE FoR TALKING different and inconsistent understandings of one real-world situation' 'contrast sets'. 1987. we cannot. outside of social practices. the study of categorization as situated discursive practice recognizesthe perceptual referentiality of languagewhile insisting on the 'motivational' basis (in Lakoff's primacy of communication. out there beyond the socially organized practices of knowledge. It is a major basis for displaying objectivity and error. indexical meanings. look at reality over the heads of participants and resolve it for them. 1985. for experiential referentiality.on dilemmas 1987. for rhetoric (cf' niitig. but very plausible as a design feature for the construciion of alternative and contrasting versions. not only by accident. D'Andrade.It functions. 1990. . ironically. is precisely what all the talk is about. on (p. but it is a two-way relationship. seemsnot strictly to require it. discursive psychology makes no claims for realism. Gane. While bodily provides for the sense of verbal categories. since perceptual sense-making. Latour. arguing and accomplishing social actions: in other words. and makes appeals to perceptual experience and evidence. Middleton. ignoring its basis in social practices. experientialism is "^p"ii"n." also one of talk's topical concerns. 1987). Potter & wetherell. as psychologistsand linguists. and Quinn. Edwards.

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UK). M.A.C.L.E.542 cATEGoRIESARE FoR TALKING Widdicombe. In K. R. The social process of scientific investigation. Luff.'Being'versus'doing'punk (etc. Hillsdale. University of York. Whitley (Eds. Hamilton (Ed. Frohlich. . am grateful to David Middleton and Jonathan Potter for helpful comments on an earlier version. 1988) and Discursive Psychology (Sage. (1981). R. & R. Unpublished D. In D. Krohn.). Ideological Dilemmas of Everyday Thinking (Sage. D. Knorr. S. Woolgar. & G. (1989).). (1990). Computersand conversation. R.llis Horwood. Denex Etwenos is Senior Lecturer in Social Psychologyat Loughborough University (Loughborough. R.). Leics LE11 3TU.Discovery: Logic and sequencein a scientifictext. I AcxNowr-EocEMENTS.N. (1984). S. Gilbert (Eds. (Telling) tales of the unexpected: A sociological analysis of accounts of paranormal phenomena. Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup relations.C. S..In P. Science: The very idea. Dordrecht: Reidel. On the analysis of interaction: An introduction to conversation analysis. 75-82. His research is into the relations between discourse and cognition. Chtchester'. (1988). (in press). Perceivingpersonsas a group: Categorizationand intergroup relations. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. Wowk.): On achieving authenticity as a member. Wooffitt. (19S0). New York: Academic Press' Woolgar. NJ: Erlbaum. & Wooffitt. Wilder. England. 1987). He is co-author of Common Knowledge (Routledge. Blame allocation: Sex and gender in a murder interrogation W omen' s Studies I nternational Forum. 7. in press). Wooffitt. D.Phil thesis.

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