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Thinking with Literature – Towards a Cognitive Criticism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Thinking with Literature: Towards a Cognitive Criticism

Terence Cave


This book argues that, as literature is among the most powerful and flexible instruments of human thought, it invites a cognitive mode of criticism, one which asserts the priority of individual literary works as unique products of human cognition. The introductory chapter presents some key themes (kinesis, mind-reading, communication, the recognition of life) without technical elaboration. Chapter 2 provides a more systematic account of these themes and their interdisciplinary context, sketching arguments from cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and evolutionary studie ... More

Keywords: cognitive literary criticism, embodied cognition, kinesis, mind-reading, relevance theory, affordances, imagination, metaphor, immersion, literary values

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198749417
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749417.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Terence Cave, author
Emeritus Professor of French Literature, St John's College, Oxford