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Consciousness and cognition in Shakespeare and beyond
Werier surveys the interdisciplinary discourses of cognitive literary criticism, observing how the sometimes uncritical deployment of science may promote an unwarranted empirical legitimacy which ignores the hybrid nature of cognitive criticism's hard and soft theoretical underpinnings. The essay examines a number of recent applications of cognitive criticism to Shakespeare, including Conceptual Blends, Distributed Cognition (DC), and Theory of Mind (ToM), observing ways in which enthusiasm for the scientific credibility of a particular cognitive theory may overshadow more nuanced metaphoric applications. The second part of the essay argues that neuroscientific and historical phenomenological descriptions of consciousness may provide a flexible way of discussing current and historical engagements with text and performance and in understanding the seemingly autonomous consciousness of literary characters.
Werier, C. (2016)., Consciousness and cognition in Shakespeare and beyond, in P. Budra & C. Werier (eds.), Shakespeare and consciousness, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 19-42.
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