The literary mind

New York: Oxford University Press (1996)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

We usually consider literary thinking to be peripheral and dispensable, an activity for specialists: poets, prophets, lunatics, and babysitters. Certainly we do not think it is the basis of the mind. We think of stories and parables from Aesop's Fables or The Thousand and One Nights, for example, as exotic tales set in strange lands, with spectacular images, talking animals, and fantastic plots--wonderful entertainments, often insightful, but well removed from logic and science, and entirely foreign to the world of everyday thought. But Mark Turner argues that this common wisdom is wrong. The literary mind--the mind of stories and parables--is not peripheral but basic to thought. Story is the central principle of our experience and knowledge. Parable--the projection of story to give meaning to new encounters--is the indispensable tool of everyday reason. Literary thought makes everyday thought possible. This book makes the revolutionary claim that the basic issue for cognitive science is the nature of literary thinking. In The Literary Mind, Turner ranges from the tools of modern linguistics, to the recent work of neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio and Gerald Edelman, to literary masterpieces by Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Proust, as he explains how story and projection--and their powerful combination in parable--are fundamental to everyday thought. In simple and traditional English, he reveals how we use parable to understand space and time, to grasp what it means to be located in space and time, and to conceive of ourselves, other selves, other lives, and other viewpoints. He explains the role of parable in reasoning, in categorizing, and in solving problems. He develops a powerful model of conceptual construction and, in a far-reaching final chapter, extends it to a new conception of the origin of language that contradicts proposals by such thinkers as Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker. Turner argues that story, projection, and parable precede grammar, that language follows from these mental capacities as a consequence. Language, he concludes, is the child of the literary mind. Offering major revisions to our understanding of thought, conceptual activity, and the origin and nature of language, The Literary Mind presents a unified theory of central problems in cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. It gives new and unexpected answers to classic questions about knowledge, creativity, understanding, reason, and invention

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,642

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Bedtime with Shahrazad.Mark Turner - 1996 - In The literary mind. New York: Oxford University Press.
Language.Mark Turner - 1996 - In The literary mind. New York: Oxford University Press.
The Literary Mind. [REVIEW]Mary Pierre Boucher - 1933 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 8 (3):507-509.
Freudianism and the Literary Mind. [REVIEW]Rudolf Allers - 1945 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 20 (3):556-558.
Behaviorism, Consciousness, and the Literary Mind.Joshua Gang - 2021 - Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
The Literary Mind.Max Eastman - 1933 - International Journal of Ethics 43 (3):356-361.
Freudianism and the Literary Mind.Frederick J. Hoffman - 1947 - Philosophical Review 56 (4):455-456.
Freudianism and the Literary Mind. [REVIEW]R. C. Bald - 1947 - Philosophical Review 56 (4):455-456.
The Literary Mind. Max Eastman.Percy H. Boynton - 1933 - International Journal of Ethics 43 (3):356-361.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
4 (#1,013,551)

6 months
33 (#469,376)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Perceptual symbol systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Conceptual Integration Networks.Gilles Fauconnier & Mark Turner - 1998 - Cognitive Science 22 (2):133-187.
Narrative unity as a condition of personhood.John Christman - 2004 - Metaphilosophy 35 (5):695-713.
Norms of Testimony in Broad Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Quantum Mechanics in Critical Theory.Rasmus Jaksland - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (1):35-61.

View all 40 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references