The Literary Mind

The Literary Mind:
the Origins of Thought and Language

In The Literary Mind, Turner ranges from the tools of modern linguistics, to the recent work of neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio and Gerald Edelman, to literary masterpieces by Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Proust, as he explains how story and projection–and their powerful combination in parable–are fundamental to everyday thought.
He reveals how we use parable to understand space and time, to grasp what it means to be located in space and time, and to conceive of ourselves, other selves, other lives, and other viewpoints. He explains the role of parable in reasoning, in categorizing, and in solving problems. He develops a powerful model of conceptual construction and extends it to a new conception of the origin of language.  Also Turner argues that story, projection and parable precede grammar and that language follows from these mental capacities as a consequence. Language, he concludes, is the child of the literary mind.
The Literary mind offers a unified theory of central problems in cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, giving new answers to classic questions about knowledge, creativity, understanding, reason and invention.

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