Narrative and Consciousness (Review Article)

Author: Smith, Thomas

Source: Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 11, Numbers 5-6, 2004 , pp. 146-155(10)

Publisher: Imprint Academic

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Abstract:

This volume of eleven related essays investigates questions about the relationship of narrative and consciousness from several disciplinary points of view, among them psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and literary studies. Showing the strengths of such interdisciplinarity is the editors’ goal, which is, they write, ‘to challenge the conventional wisdom by presenting information that cuts across conceptual levels and disciplines’ (p. 6). The book may be said to embody the wide-ranging interests of one of the editors, Owen Flanagan, who at Duke University holds appointments in philosophy, experimental psychology, neurobiology, and literature. The editors as a group seek in the book to reconceptualize relations between disciplines, elegantly developing a contrast between the metaphor of the archipelago, suggesting both separation and connection, and islands, emphasizing mutual isolation. Reading the book demonstrates their wisdom in adopting this metaphor, since the essays’ arrangement allows one to move easily from one set of disciplinary assumptions to another.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of English, Penn State University, 1600 Woodland Rd., Abington, PA 19001, USA., Email: trs8@psu.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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