Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

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Patterns of Experience: Pragmatism, Perception, and Cultural Cognition in Modern American Literature
by Hernandez, Aleksandra, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2017, 237; 13836199
Abstract (Summary)

Patterns of Experience: Pragmatism, Perception, and Cultural Cognition in Modern American Literature, tracks experience-based forms of mimesis in the writing of Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, Ernest Hemingway, and Zora Neale Hurston. It is this project’s contention that these four American writers attend to the interplay among perception, conception, and culture in their narratives, and collectively articulate an antifoundationalist theory of cognition in which our concepts are anchored in culturally-situated acts of perception. From Melville's depiction of machine-mediated modes of perception in European navigational practices, to Hurston's pragmatist epistemology in which her subjective, participatory engagement with Haitian and Jamaican culture is a source of narrative authority and objectivity, Patterns of Experience suggests that how we think is not a transparent process in which ideas get transferred directly from world to body to mind. At the same time, however, my project points to the search for alternative modes of perception and conception that are anchored in the cognitive environments of Thoreau's Maine Woods and Hemingway's African Savannah and the Gulf Stream.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walls, Laura Dassow
Commitee: Makshall, Kate, Walls, Laura Dassow, Z-Da, Nan
School: University of Notre Dame
Department: Department of English
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Philosophy, American literature
Keywords: Cognition, Culture, Environment, Modern, Modernism, Perception, Pragmatism
Publication Number: 13836199
ISBN: 9780438833326
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