Wordsworth and the Composition of Knowledge: Refiguring Relationships Among Minds, Worlds, and Words (Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature)

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9780820448572: Wordsworth and the Composition of Knowledge: Refiguring Relationships Among Minds, Worlds, and Words (Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature)

To understand and value Wordsworth’s efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth’s efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an «ecology of mind» in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly «Nature»). This study also shows how this «ecology of mind» can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century.

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About the Author:

The Author: Brad Sullivan is Polling Institute Director and Associate Professor of English at Western New England College. He received his Ph.D. in English literature, with a cognate in Rhetoric and Composition from Ball State University. He has published articles on Robert Frost and Christina Rossetti.

Review:

«Professor Sullivan has recontextualized discussion of Wordsworth’s epistemology on Wordsworth’s terms, not shrinking from what others (following Coleridge) have dismissed as inconsistencies, but looking instead for the consistencies in Wordsworth’s valuing of empirical science, his urgent sense of moral and social purpose, and his powerful personal engagement with the natural world... By examining Wordsworth’s disciplined and considered effort to recast the dualistic Cartesian model of knowing, this study provides us both a context and a model for reexamining our own assumptions about knowledge, teaching, learning, and the valuing of human experience.» (Linda Hanson, Ball State University)
«Sullivan makes an important contribution to our understanding of the poet's thought. Whereas a number of scholars have become gradually more aware that, for instance, the complex structure of ‘The Prelude’ has serious implications for how Wordsworth envisions the relationship between experience, thought, and meaning, none has framed this argument as an essentially epistemological one, and none that I'm aware of cite and discuss Quintilian as a likely influence... Another unusual and valuable feature of Sullivan's book is the discussion throughout of Wordsworth's letters and discursive writings, including the "Essay on Morals" and the famously misunderstood Preface. One wonders if Northrup Frye, who said that no one would give the Preface more than a B+ as a piece of Wordsworth criticism, would change his grade after reading Sullivan's remarks.» (Nancy Easterlin, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies)
The word "experiment" recalls Wordsworth's own description of ‘Lyrical Ballads’, and like the poet's, Sullivan's ambitious and passionate "experiment" may well engender strong responses. The text is meant to propound and to reflect in its very composition a "rigorous" way of thinking marked by recursive, self-reflexive, and synthetic approaches to knowledge, as opposed to a "systematic" way of thinking marked by linear, logical, and "philosophical" reasoning (103). The stated aim of this aggressively interdisciplinary work is "to provide a starting point for more fruitful discussions of [Wordsworth's] literary theory, his philosophy, his educational ideas, his social and moral purposes, and his poetic and rhetorical strategies for reaching an audience" (12). Students of Wordsworth and British Romanticism will find much to interest them in Sullivan's book...Considered as an interdisciplinary "experiment" aiming "to embody the natural connections of literary study, rhetoric, and systems theory," ‘Wordsworth and the Composition of Knowledge’ is an innovative, aspiring work that rewards attention, however successful or unsuccessful it proves to be at "combin[ing] theory and application into praxis" (169).» (Spencer Hall, Romantic Circles Reviews)

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Book Description Peter Lang Publishing Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. To understand and value Wordsworth s efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth s efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an ecology of mind in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly Nature). This study also shows how this ecology of mind can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780820448572

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Book Description Peter Lang Publishing Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. To understand and value Wordsworth s efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth s efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an ecology of mind in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly Nature). This study also shows how this ecology of mind can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780820448572

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Book Description New York, 2000. xv, 202 pp., 2000. Book Condition: New. To understand and value Wordsworth?s efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth?s efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an «ecology of mind» in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly «Nature»). This study also shows how this «ecology of mind» can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # 64857

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Book Description Peter Lang Jun 2000, 2000. Buch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - To understand and value Wordsworth's efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth's efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an «ecology of mind» in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly «Nature»). This study also shows how this «ecology of mind» can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century. 202 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780820448572

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Book Description Peter Lang Jun 2000, 2000. Buch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - To understand and value Wordsworth's efforts to make poetry a tool of cultural intervention, critics must, like him, struggle with the Cartesian dualisms that dominate Western culture. Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary sources, including classical rhetoricians Isocrates and Quintilian, and twentieth-century scientists Gregory Bateson and Antonio Damasio, this study develops a coherent framework for understanding Wordsworth's efforts to refigure the relationships that constitute knowing. Sullivan argues that Wordsworth sketched out an «ecology of mind» in which perception, feeling, thinking, and acting were related in a continuum of mental processes, and in which individual minds had a mutually shaping, integrative relationship with larger mind-like processes (particularly «Nature»). This study also shows how this «ecology of mind» can offer significant insight to learners in the twenty-first century. 202 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780820448572

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