The mind is an autocatalytic vortex

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.

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Mark Anthony Turner
City University of New York, Graduate Center

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