University of Maryland
The Literary Mind
Chimeras and angels seem to belong to an exotic realm of the imagination,
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
"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).
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.
Personal web page: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~mturn/
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