Style

A journal focusing on literature and literary topics for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 45, No. 2, Summer

A Question of Leverage: A Response to Alan Palmer's "Social Minds"
Received opinion about the novel, in part at least, affirms that it grew up in response to an intense interest in the lives of individuals. It was a genre of eponymic protagonists (Robinson Crusoe, Pamela, Tom Jones, Humphrey Clinker, Emma, Jane Eyre,...
Cats, Dogs, and Social Minds: Learning from Alan Palmer-And Sixth Graders
Given how vividly Alan Palmer's essay describes our experiences as co-authors--and given how we found ourselves "of one mind" in our appreciation of it--we couldn't resist co-authoring a response. What strikes us most is the scope of its application....
Changing Minds in Narrative
What is mind but motion in the intellectual sphere? --Oscar Wilde, Intentions In his important essay on "Social Minds," Alan Palmer continues his longstanding mission to reconfigure the field of narratology and thus redefine our understanding...
Enlarged Perspectives: A Rejoinder to the Responses
The Background to the Project I would like to begin this rejoinder to the 24 responses by offering my heartfelt thanks to all of their authors. This will sound rather glutinous, but it is true to say that it's been a privilege to receive them from...
Even "Internalist" Minds Are Social
As a psychologist, I welcome Alan Palmer's thoughtful appraisal of the value of cognitive-psychological approaches to literary minds. Such accounts enrich literary studies by using ideas about real-world mental functioning to explain how minds operate...
From the Individual to the System: Expanding the Range of Literary Interpretation
Investigation of the ways in which "real" human minds and fictional minds are similar and different is an important undertaking for literary critics, psychologists and neuroscientists, linguists, and philosophers. Thankfully, this investigation has...
Intermental Functions, Evolved Cognition, and Fictional Representation
In "Social Minds," Alan Palmer extends the perspective he developed in Fictional Minds, offering an important revisionary perspective that notes the centrality of a cognitive approach to all other approaches and points attention to intermental function...
Intermental Units from the Perspective of the Semiological Model
I welcome the idea of "social minds" as described in Alan Palmer's article as a new tool for literary analysis, but I see it as one tool among many and I opt for bricolage, that is, using whatever tools can improve our understanding of literary texts,...
Introduction to Alan Palmer's "Social Minds in Criticism and in Fiction"
What you hold in your hands, readers, is the second issue in our on-going (but still occasional) series designed to encourage a wide-spread and relatively quick exchange of views on a current problem in literature and criticism by asking a significant...
Mind = Mind + Social Mind?: A Response to Alan Palmer's Target Essay
Let me begin by saying that many of Palmer's ideas strike me as inspirational and that I admire the verve with which he tackles his subject. However, rather than tick off areas of agreement, of which there are many, constructive criticism may be better...
Palmer's Anti-Cognitivist Challenge
Alan Palmer begins his thought-provoking article with the idea that mind is social. He soon characterizes an alternative to this view as "cliche." In fact, it seems at least as reasonable to characterize Palmer's claim as cliche. Despite Palmer's assertions,...
Post-Cartesian Approaches to Narrative and Mind: A Response to Alan Palmer's Target Essay on "Social Minds"
Like all of his work, Alan Palmer's target essay on "Social Minds" is remarkable for its clarity, scope, and suggestiveness. Indeed, in reading this essay I was reminded of the time I first encountered, some eight years ago. Palmer's groundbreaking...
Response to Alan Palmer
I want to thank Alan Palmer for agreeing to write and edit his target essay "Social Minds" in Style, and then to respond to the several scholars who have written reactions to it. Many readers have found his first book, Fictional Minds, as well as the...
Response to Alan Palmer
Palmer's important essay deals with two related subjects, the second probably a sub-category of the first: 1) Social minds, which he defines as "those aspects of the whole mind that are revealed through the externalist perspective" (what is revealed...
Response to Alan Palmer
Alan Palmer's cognitive narratology has already rehabilitated thought report (also called psycho-narration [Cohn]) as a sophisticated and flexible technique for the representation of fictional consciousness, including intermental thought: "joint. group,...
Response to Alan Palmer's "Social Minds"
Palmer's distinction between intramental, or personal, and intermental, or shared thought is undeniably valid from both an intuitive and an empirical perspective. It is hard to even imagine a novel devoid of some conflict between individuals and the...
Response to Target Essay on Social Minds: A Contextualist Perspective
Let me begin by stating that, although I am not in sympathathetic to agreement with much work produced by the cognitive turn in poetics, narratology and literary criticism, I find much to commend in Palmer's concept of social minds. The examination...
Rethinking "Inferred" Thought Presentation: Some Reflections on Palmer's "Social Minds"
Reading Alan Palmer's target essay on "Social Minds" made me think again, and in a new way, about ah aspect of my earlier work that I had not reconsidered for some time. Between the mid-1990s and the m id-2000s, I worked with Mick Short and several...
Socializing the Narrative Mind
Why is the relationship between social and individual forms of mind so central to narrative fiction, indeed, to all narrative? The answer is as straightforward as it is compelling: It is central to our life--it is central to the social and cultural...
Social Minds in Fiction and Criticism
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. --Oscar Wilde In Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, the villain, Blandois, arrives one evening at a French inn. As he walks...
Speaking Prose
I don't seriously disagree with most of what Alan Palmer says. That's a problem. Most of his propositions strike me as expansively elaborated truisms that have been gussied up a little with cog-sci terminology. One thinks of Monsieur Joubert, the title...
Style Brings in Mental States
I Much of what I write these days is ah elaboration of Alan Palmer's argument that "novel reading is mind-reading." Here, too, I take up one aspect of that argument and consider it in light of my recent experience of studying fiction in a lab with...
The Epistemology of Fiction: Knowing V. "Knowing"
Alan Palmer reports that in his experience "we understand fictional minds much better when we apply to them some of the work done on real minds by psychologists, philosophers, and cognitive scientists" ("Cognitive Approaches'). Undoubtedly his experience...
The Reader and the Space-in-Between
Alan Palmer's essay "Social Minds" is a very interesting contribution to understanding how literary works enable us to understand the social nature of mind. Here, I concentrate on just the part of Palmer's essay entitled "The construction of the Middlemarch...
The Social Mind in Fiction: Response to Alan Palmer
Alan Palmer's essay invites us to define the key terra "social mind" more thoroughly and suggests its vast heuristic potential. To tell a coherent story, authors usually simplify by depicting only one social mind initiating or oppressing an individual,...
Toward a Rhetorical Perspective on Social Minds
Alan Palmer's work on social minds marks a significant advance in narrative theory's project of describing and interpreting the representation of consciousness in the novel. Palmer persuasively demonstrates that combining the internalist and externalist...
Understanding Fictional Minds without Theory of Mind!
Palmer's extremely rich and wide ranging target paper defends a bold thesis; social minds exist. Apparently, a social mind is not just a set or collection or conglomerate of individual minds. A group of individuals who just happen to think the same...