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Live Artefacts – Literature in a Cognitive Environment - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Live Artefacts: Literature in a Cognitive Environment

Terence Cave


Literary artefacts—the stories people tell, the songs they sing, the scenes they enact—are neither a by-product nor a side-issue in human culture. They provide a model of everything that cognition does. They refuse to separate thought from emotion, bodily responses from ethical reflection, perception from imagination, logic from desire. Above all, they demonstrate the essential fluidity and mobility of human cognition, its adaptive inventiveness. If we are astonished by the art of Chauvet or Lascaux as an early model of human cognition, then we should be continually astonished by what literatu ... More

Keywords: literary artefact, cognition, embodiment, cognitive fluidity, living entity, agency, cognitive environment, close reading, cognitive anthropology, cognitive archaeology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2022 Print ISBN-13: 9780192858122
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780192858122.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

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