Long-Term Research

Long-term research is at the core of all of Real Reason's activities and interactions. With a sustained, multi-year commitment, Real Reason will:

Real Reason contributes to broader efforts to develop a coherent political philosophy.

In addition to cognitive linguistics, Real Reason draws on a number of related disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and neuroscience — each providing complementary understandings of how people think about politics and are moved to action. Real Reason will collaborate with an expanding network of specialists in these fields.

Shifting Focus

Fixed "conservative" or "progressive" positions


How problems can be solved in a process that is democratic, transparent, accountable, and adaptive

This long-term research is fundamentally about understanding the conceptual dimensions of the current political environment as well as the changes that are possible. Language data from sources as varied as interviews, polls, databases, popular media, and campaign literature is examined as evidence of mental models, reasoning patterns, narratives, and frames. Real Reason is refining new research methodologies to analyze politically-relevant prototypes, metaphors, collocation patterns, metonymies, semantic roles, and image schemas. Locating all of these elements in a coherent system of ideas is a major endeavor.

Real Reason expects that this work will be supported by individual donors and foundations interested in developing the political imagination required to achieve the long-term goals of deepening democracy and serving the common good.