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Actual Minds, Possible Worlds

Actual Minds, Possible Worlds Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this characteristically graceful and provocative book, Jerome Bruner, one of the principal architects of the cognitive revolution, sets forth nothing less than a new agenda for the study of mind. According to Professor Bruner, cognitive science has set its sights too narrowly on the logical, systematic aspects of mental life--those thought processes we use to solve puzzles, test hypotheses, and advance explanations. There is obviously another side to the mind--a side devoted to the irrepressibly human acts of imagination that allow us to make experience meaningful. This is the side of the mind that leads to good stories, gripping drama, primitive myths and rituals, and plausible historical accounts. Bruner calls it the "narrative mode," and his book makes important advances in the effort to unravel its nature.

Drawing on recent work in literary theory, linguistics, and symbolic anthropology, as well as cognitive and developmental psychology Professor Bruner examines the mental acts that enter into the imaginative creation of possible worlds, and he shows how the activity of imaginary world making undergirds human science, literature, and philosophy, as well as everyday thinking, and even our sense of self.

Over twenty years ago, Jerome Bruner first sketched his ideas about the mind's other side in his justly admired book On Knowing: Essays for the Left Hand. Actual Minds, Possible Worlds can be read as a sequel to this earlier work, but it is a sequel that goes well beyond its predecessor by providing rich examples of just how the mind's narrative mode can be successfully studied. The collective force of these examples points the way toward a more humane and subtle approach to the investigation of how the mind works.

About the Author

Jerome Bruner is University Professor at New York University and the author of many books, including Acts of Meaning; On Knowing; The Process of Education; and Toward a Theory of Instruction (all published by Harvard).

Table of Contents

Preface

PART 1: TWO NATURAL KINDS

1. Approaching the Literary

2. Two Modes of Thought

3. Possible Castles

PART 2: LANGUAGE AND REALITY

4. The Transactional Self

5. The Inspiration of Vygotsky

6. Psychological Reality

7. Nelson Goodman's Worlds

8. Thought and Emotion

PART 3: ACTING IN CONSTRUCTED WORLDS

9. The Language of Education

10. Developmental Theory as Culture

Afterword

Appendix: A Reader's Retelling of "Clay" by James Joyce

Notes

Credits

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674003651
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Author:
Bruner, Jerome
Subject:
Psycholinguistics
Subject:
Creation
Subject:
Psychology and literature.
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 172-192.
Series:
The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures
Series Volume:
no. 31
Publication Date:
19850901
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
222
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 1.2 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science

Actual Minds, Possible Worlds
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Product details 222 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674003651 Reviews:
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