Download e-book for iPad: Literature, Science, and a New Humanities by Jonathan Gottschall (auth.)

By Jonathan Gottschall (auth.)

Literature, technological know-how, and a brand new Humanities demanding situations dominant modes of literary research and sketches outlines of a brand new paradigm, idea, process, and ethos encouraged through clinical models.

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The system of Derrida, although disavowing systematicity, is based on several unproven theses about the nature of language which are supported by a vast expanding web of idiosyncratic terminology . . Lacan’s system, even more vastly elaborated is . . a series of devices for evading accountability . . Foucault places himself beyond criticism. (2005, 249) The common denominator of almost all major contemporary approaches to literary theory is, according to Frederick Crews, “A refusal to credit one’s audience with the right to challenge one’s idea on dispassionate grounds” (2005, 228).

However, while Darwin was founding the science of evolutionary psychology, he was inadvertently helping to plant the seeds of its twentieth century difficulties. Darwin was liberal by the standards of his age and, in some ways, by the standards of ours. His abhorrence of slavery was so virulent that as a young naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle he was almost put off ship after violently arguing the issue with Captain Fitzroy, a defender of the institution’s benevolence (see Darwin 1877a). And while he acknowledged in The Descent that some of his theories could lead to the consideration of eugenic policies, he rejected eugenics in bold terms.

Most will feel that Joseph Carroll goes too far in concluding that literary scholars’ dependency on deficient theories of human nature means that, A very large proportion of the work in critical theory that has been done in the past twenty years will prove to be not merely obsolete but essentially void. It cannot be regarded as an earlier phase of a developing discipline, with all of the honor due to antecedents and ancestors. It is essentially a wrong turn, a misconceived enterprise, a repository of delusions and wasted efforts.

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