[Humanist] 23.63 new publication: Cognition & the Arts Abstracts

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Jun 1 08:45:21 CEST 2009

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 63.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 07:40:21 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Cognition & the Arts Abstracts

Cognition & the Arts Abstracts
Vol 1, No 4: 1 June 2009

Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University - Department of 
Cognitive Science
mark.turner at case.edu

Table of Contents

Making Sense of (Non)Sense: Why Literature Counts
Margaret H. Freeman, Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA

Fictive Motion in Milton
Mark Bruhn, affiliation not provided to SSRN

Foundations of Branding: Cognitive and Historical
Andrew J. Sutter, Lyra Pacific Group, Sutter International Law Office

Slave Artists as Powerful Reality Creators: Taking Responsibility and 
Rejecting Race Consciousness
Kimberly Alderman, affiliation not provided to SSRN

"Making Sense of (Non)Sense: Why Literature Counts" Free Download
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, Elzbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, Grzegorz Szpila, 
eds., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009

MARGARET H. FREEMAN, Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA
Email: freemamh at lavc.edu

We can't help ourselves. We have, in Meir Sternberg's phrase, 'a rage
for meaning.' Our brains are constructed in such a way that human
cognition is a peculiar anomaly, existing in a never-ending dynamic
tension that balances on the one hand the dangers of absolute
objectivism and on the other the dangers of subjective relativism. Both
positions reduce to failure in empathic understanding and moral action.
In their extreme forms, absolute objectivism leads to rigidity of
thought and a closing down of alternate perspectives; subjective
relativism to indecisive waffling and inability to achieve closure. (In
the United States, the Bush administration is a perfect example of the
one, the current Democratic leadership a perfect example of the other.)
The two main problems identified as the theme of this IALS volume
explore the nature of this tension in human cognitive processing as
expressed through the varied interpretations of literary texts.

Rather than ask whether literary semantics should 'strive after an
interpretation of all [literary] texts at all costs,' I ask why do we
strive after interpretation in the first place, and what are the
consequences of doing so? Rather than ask 'to what degree we are able to
keep literary semantics autonomous,' I ask why would we want to, and
what are the consequences of doing so? If we are, 'by any chance,
fascinated by nonsense,' we need to ask what does nonsense 'mean'?
Exploring these questions from a literary linguistic perspective sheds
light on the role that literary experience plays, not merely in
furthering our understanding of human cognitive processes but in
developing and maintaining the dynamic tension of seeking coherence and
meaning without falling into the swamps of absolute objectivism or the
quicksands of subjective relativism. Literature, as is true of all the
arts, resists as it reveals. It is, in the American philosopher Susanne
K. Langer's words, the semblance of felt life, works of art images of
the forms of feeling. In its attempts to model the forms of feeling in
literary works, recent work in cognitive poetics traces the dynamic
tensions that result from the embodied nature of the human mind and that
are reflected in literary interpretation.

"Fictive Motion in Milton"

9th Conference on Conceptual Structure, Discourse, & Language (CSDL9)

MARK BRUHN, affiliation not provided to SSRN
Email: mbruhn at regis.edu

This paper analyzes two fictive motion (FM) constructions from Paradise
Lost that can help to focus research concerning 1) the principles and
processes supporting the selection and transformation of the spatial
reference frame in FM constructions; 2) the functional differences
between entrenched and novel FM conceptualizations; and 3) the cognitive
subsystem(s) supporting veridicality assessments.

Talmy suggests that the degree of subjectivity in experienced FM may
correlate with the reference frame cued by the FM construction. In
Milton's examples, the form is ambiguous, prompting a conceptual
reframing from an intrinsic (or allocentric) to a relative (or
egocentric) reference frame, or vice versa (Levinson). Milton's
constructions thus provide crisp models for theoretical reflection and
experimental design-along the lines of Richardson and Matlock, for
example, with the hypothesis that eye movements correlate not merely
with FM, but primarily with the reference frame in which FM is

Because they also reverse the direction of FM, Milton's examples are
genuinely novel FM constructions, soliciting processing functions that
more entrenched constructions, through automatization, may bypass
(Coulson and Oakley). Such novel examples could be crucial for
understanding the extent to which entrenched FM conceptualizations do
without productive functions. Because FM is typically a one-way affair,
its reversal should generate conceptual conflict and thus a strong
activation of the underlying functions, as well as their neural

Milton's examples could likewise be revealing with respect to Talmy's
hypotheses concerning the neural subsystems supporting visual perception
and language, especially the notion that their image-schematic products
are experienced as being less veridical...relative to the products
of...other neural systems. Because Milton's constructions are bistable
in terms of reference frame and FM-on either hand, there is a conflict
of elements generated from the same schematic subsystem(s)-they to some
degree complicate or frustrate veridicality assessments. The
reconceptualizations (Langacker, Matlock) involved may therefore help to
determine whether or not the veridicality subsystem inheres in the
schematic subsystem(s) supporting the competing fictive representations.
Specifically, fMRI scans targeting the left posterior middle temporal
cortex during the construal of novel Milton-like FM constructions are
predicted either to strengthen the findings of Wallentin et al.,
providing converging evidence for Talmy's hypothesis, or to restrict
them to the case of automatized FM constructions.

"Foundations of Branding: Cognitive and Historical" Free Download

Nikkei Businesss Management, Winter 2008

ANDREW J. SUTTER, Lyra Pacific Group, Sutter International Law Office
Email: ajsutter at lyrapacific.com

If the value of a brand comes from the impression in a consumer's mind,
can the trademark owner truly be said to own this value? And has this
locus of the brand remained consistent throughout history? These
questions are explored through a review of, first, the proceedings
volume from an interdisciplinary trademark and branding symposium at
Cambridge University, and then of a pair of books about Sixteenth
Century Italian imprese.

A slightly shorter version of this review appeared in Japanese in the
"Branding" theme issue (Winter 2008) of Nikkei Business Management
[Nikkei Bijinesu Manejimento] under the title " 'Monshou' kara himotoku
burando no 'genten'" (Y. Sunada, trans.).

"Slave Artists as Powerful Reality Creators: Taking Responsibility and 
Rejecting Race Consciousness" Free Download

Thurgood Marshall Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2008

KIMBERLY ALDERMAN, affiliation not provided to SSRN
Email: kimberly at lawyerbird.com

This article critiques the race conscious thinking inherent in Critical
Race Theory ("CRT") and offers an alternative to structuralism and
determinism. It reviews the colonial origins of race consciousness, and
argues that advocating race conscious remedies perpetuates the very
racism CRT decries. The article focuses on powerful reality creators of
the past to create a more empowering framework of individual
responsibility and personal reality construction. The article makes a
case study of David Drake, a slave potter from 1800s South Carolina.
Slave artists like David Drake show us that, no matter how strong the
forces of oppression, a marginalized individual has the authority and
power to decide who he or she becomes.

Solicitation of Abstracts

A publication dedicated to the artful mind and its relationship to the
full range of higher-order human cognition. All scientific approaches
are welcome, including developmental, evolutionary, linguistic, and
comparative. Cognition and the Arts construes artistic behavior broadly,
to include not only the various recognized genres of the arts but also
design, style, and performance, throughout the lifecourse.

To submit your research to SSRN, log in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters,
and click on the My Papers link on the left menu, and then click on
Start New Submission at the top of the page.

Distribution Services

If your Institution is interested in learning more about increasing
readership for its research by becoming a Partner in Publishing or
starting a Research Paper Series, please email: PIP at SSRN.com.

Distributed by:

Cognitive Science Network (CSN), a division of Social Science Electronic
Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Advisory Board

Cognition & the Arts

Dana Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Dana and
David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center, University of
Southern California - Department: Neuroscience Psychology, Adjunct
Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Director, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Pierre
Matisse Professor of the History of Art, Columbia University -
Department of Art History and Archaeology

Professor of Neurobiology, Head, Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology,
University College London

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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