The Mind is an Autocatalytic Vortex

LITERARY MIND - REAL: YEARBOOK OF RESEARCH IN ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE, Jürgen Schlaeger, ed., Vol. 24, Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2008

29 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2008 Last revised: 6 Apr 2009

See all articles by Mark B. Turner

Mark B. Turner

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science

Date Written: September 26, 2008

Abstract

Blending is indispensable for advanced narrative cognition. In The Literary Mind (1996), I argued that the modern mind derives from our remarkable capacity to deploy a cohort of basic mental operations-story, projection, blending, and parable. These operations are a pack, a troupe, a self-feeding cyclone, an autocatalytic vortex, a breeder reactor, a dynamic heterarchy-choose your metaphor: they labor together. Some of the evidence I presented in The Literary Mind can be misinterpreted, it seems, as suggesting that advanced narrative cognition comes first in the sequence, and that upon this rock the other operations build their conceptual church. My purpose here is to correct that misinterpretation. Mature narrative cognition does not exist without blending. Blending is not a second step.

Keywords: conceptual integration, blending, narrative, theory of mind, personal identity, perspective, other minds, future self, past self, discounting the future, mental time travel, projection of intentionality, compression, mental space

Suggested Citation

Turner, Mark B., The Mind is an Autocatalytic Vortex (September 26, 2008). LITERARY MIND - REAL: YEARBOOK OF RESEARCH IN ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE, Jürgen Schlaeger, ed., Vol. 24, Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1274225

Mark B. Turner (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science ( email )

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7068
United States

HOME PAGE: http://markturner.org

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