Download e-book for iPad: Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to by Ira Livingston

By Ira Livingston

ISBN-10: 0252030087

ISBN-13: 9780252030086

A shift in how we comprehend the area and ourselves, additional displacing the nature/culture divide as soon as so definitive for modernity

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Additional resources for Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics

Example text

As Leibniz put it (back in 1712), “Each simple substance has relations that express all the others, and is in consequence a perpetual living mirror of the universe” (24). Tzinacan, an Aztec priest in a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, puts it this way: “Even in human languages there is no proposition that does not imply the entire universe; to say the tiger is to say the tigers that begot it, the deer and turtles devoured by it, the grass on which the deer fed, the earth that was mother to the grass, the heaven that gave birth to the earth” (171).

But the question of how Kuhn managed to be so smart and so dumb as to make his brilliant mistake and how he stuck to it (and how it stuck) is only more compelling the wronger he was. Kuhn himself identified (at least in retrospect) what amounts to a kind of “eureka” moment in his studies of Aristotle’s physics, in the late 1940s—the paradigm shift from which his paradigm paradigm emerged. His question about Aristotle was roughly the same as ours about him: how could Aristotle have been so smart and so dumb?

The sky will not open. The world will not change. This must be why Shakespeare has Macbeth, in a moment of hopeless fatalism, seem to describe living itself as the reading aloud of an already written text: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time . . 19–21) The repeated words “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” mark the repetitive sameness of reading, not only in the eyes scanning back and forth but also in the very marks on the page: the same thirty or so letters and punctuation marks, again and again, and mostly the same words, too, and in the very same grammatical patterns, repeated over and over with only petty permutations.

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Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics by Ira Livingston


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