Thursday Program
Imagination and the Adapted Mind 
Friday Program
 

Mark Turner
University of Maryland
 
The Literary Mind

Chimeras and angels seem to belong to an exotic realm of the imagination, the literary
realm, in which things that should be kept apart are blended together for amusement.  This is the realm of parables, in which animals talk and scheme, and genies deliver fantastic rewards and punishments.  It is the realm of cognitive forbidden fruit. I will argue that the cognitive operation that creates these seemingly exotic conceptions is fundamental to how the human mind works, indispensable to basic feats of reason, inference, understanding, and language. The central story of human evolution is one all know: our ancestors plucked forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.  It brought them great capacities and great suffering, and made them and their descendants human.
 

 
Mark Turner is Professor of English Language and Literature and of the Doctoral Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, and External Research Professor, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in Cognitive Neuroscience. His books include The Literary Mind (Oxford UP, 1996), Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (Princeton UP, 1991), and Death is the Mother of Beauty: Mind, Metaphor, Criticism (U Chicago P, 1987). Among numerous recent projects is Figurative Language and Thought, coauthored with Cristina Cacciari, Ray Gibbs, Jr., and Albert Katz (OUP, 1998). Relevant articles include "Conceptual Integration Networks" (with Gilles Fauconnier) in Cognitive Science (abstract), "Conceptual Integration and Formal Expression" (with Gilles Fauconnier) in Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 10:3 (1995), and "Cognitive Science and Literary Theory" in Stanford Humanities Review (Spring 1994).
 
Personal web page: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~mturn/ 
 
 
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Thursday Program
Imagination and the Adapted Mind 
Friday Program