Adjusting the Frame, Comments on Cognitivism and Literature, by Adler and Gross
Already before neuro lit crit was given a name, some considered it doubtful that “neurological findings can actually be translated into terms relevant to cultural artifacts and achievements and specifically to literary analysis” (Adler and Gross 2002, 210; see responses in Poetics Today, Summer 2003).
This article focuses on the role of cognitivism in literary studies and, conversely, the role of literature in cognitivist approaches. Taking as its point of departure the preceding issue of Poetics Today (vol. 23, no. 1), a special issue on cognitive approaches to literature, this commentary addresses a number of issues related to, but also exceeding, the field of cognitive literary studies. These issues include the interrelation of the terms cognitive and literary and of human history versus evolution; the rhetoric and dynamics of paradigm change; the history of cognitivist inquiry, including different models of the study of the human mind; practical and fundamental questions about interdisciplinarity; and differences of approach in the sciences and the humanities.
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