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The object of neuroscience and literary studies

Lesnik-Oberstein, K. (2017) The object of neuroscience and literary studies. Textual Practice, 31 (7). pp. 1315-1331. ISSN 1470-1308

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2016.1237989


An investment in the object as unquestionably self-evident and self-defining has for quite some time now been widely critiqued as a central philosophical tenet of crony capitalism in its current economic, material, social, cultural and institutional manifestations. In this article, I trace that appeal to the category of the object in order to claim its discursive presence also in recent critical tendencies in literary criticism in relation to science, specifically evolutionary psychology and its underpinning neuro- and cognitive science. I focus my explorations through the 2010–2012 debate about ‘Literary Darwinism’ in the American journal Critical Inquiry and some selected articles from a 2008 special double-issue of the Journal of Beckett Studies on ‘Beckett, Language and the Mind’, arguing that both illustrate typical, core issues and problems in the critical discourses about science and literature, specifically how both the literary criticism and the science that is drawn on to support it are nevertheless all made to be rooted in a world of an agreed liberal, political and ideological commitment to a subject assumed as an autonomous agent with a transparent consciousness and language to match.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Graduate Centre for International Research in Childhood (CIRCL)
ID Code:40894
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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