Christina Rossetti’s short fiction has been long-neglected, we are told. In this paper, I respond to her fiction “Pros and Cons,” which perhaps provides a clue regarding why there has been neglect: it leaves the impression of being an imitation of George Eliot, a mocking imitation even. I identify two differences between Rossetti and Eliot.
This article explores the writings and thought on the Decalogue of the eminent nineteenth-century English poet, Christina Rossetti, especially in her volume, “Letter and Spirit. Notes on the Commandments”. It offers a corrective to several imbalances in the existing literature. First, scholars who admire Rossetti as a literary figure often neglect and even misunderstand or distort her Christian thought. Second, the study of the history of biblical interpretation has generally excluded women's voices. Third, a preoccupation with the rise of biblical (...) criticism has led scholars to ignore the continuation of devotional and ecclesial readings of Scripture in the nineteenth century and beyond. Rossetti's biblical interpretation is richly attentive to the women of the Bible and to the interests of women readers. It also reflects her Anglo-Catholic identity. Christina Rossetti offers a heightened treatment of the Decalogue which invites readers to realize that the implications of each of the Ten Commandments go wider and deeper than they have hitherto assumed, thereby awakening a greater sense of their own sinfulness. (shrink)
Following a short summary of the free-will problem as it applies to the question of God’s prescience, I offer a detailed analysis and critique of Plantinga’s and Maritain’s efforts to reconcile these two notions. I end by arguing that a process interpretation, similar to that of Whitehead, is also incapable of providing the needed reconciliation.
Philosophical considerations as well as several recent studies from neurophysiology, neuropsychology, and psychophysics converged in showing that the peripersonal space is structured in a body-centred manner and represented through integrated sensory inputs. Multisensory representations may deserve the function of coding peripersonal space for avoiding or interacting with objects. Neuropsychological evidence is reviewed for dynamic interactions between space representations and action execution, as revealed by the behavioural effects that the use of a tool, as a physical extension of the reachable space, (...) produces on visual–tactile extinction. In particular, tool-use transiently modifies action space representation in a functionally effective way. The possibility is discussed that the investigation of multisensory space representations for action provides an empirical way to consider in its specificity pre-reflexive self-consciousness by considering the intertwining of self-relatedness and object-directness of spatial experience shaped by multisensory and sensorimotor integrations. (shrink)
An analysis of two major religiously inspired writers from a Kierkegaardian perspective. _Writing the Incommensurable_ studies how the threat posed by the absence of an immanent God is explored in the works of Søren Kierkegaard, Christina Rossetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Mary Finn erects a theoretical framework in each chapter based on a pseudonymous work of Kierkegaard. In these pseudonymous works, Kierkegaard uses the discourses of philosophy, theology, and literature to plot the complicated path of a religious writer whose own (...) impulse to write complicates—if it does not compromise—the religious vision she or he wants to communicate. The book is organized according to four Kierkegaardian categories: anxiety, lyric voice, repetition, and radical choice. All four are responses to what Kierkegaard calls the incommensurable, the unnegotiable gap between subjectivity on the one hand and "actuality" on the other. This gap plagues the writer-believer while also enabling writing. In what dilemma, then, does a religious poet find herself or himself when out of the depths of personal doubt, lack of understanding, and religious inadequacy comes a literary success? Or is this dilemma avoided by paradoxically refiguring failure as a measure of success, and if so, can such a refiguring ever be fully trusted? As the notion of the subjective "self" acquires preeminence in the nineteenth century, the particularized "writing self" is the entity Kierkegaard, Hopkins, and Rossetti fight to get beyond as religious believers. The futility of such an attempt nonetheless results in a peculiar success: there is the writing itself, material evidence that the fight occurred, imbued with the pathos and beauty of all monuments erected to lost causes. (shrink)
This article reviews experimental evidence for a specific sensorimotor function which can be dissociated from higher level representations of space. It attempts to delineate this function on the basis of results obtained by psychophysical experiments performed with brain damaged and healthy subjects. Eye and hand movement control exhibit automatic features, such that they are incompatible with conscious control. In addition, they rely on a reference frame different from the one used by conscious perception. Neuropsychological cases provide a strong support for (...) this specific motor representation of space, which can be spared in patients with lesions of primary sensory systems who have lost conscious perception of visual, tactile or proprioceptive stimuli. Observation of these patients also showed that their motor behavior can be ''attracted'' by a goal only under specific conditions, that is, when the response is immediate and when no cognitive representation of this goal is elaborated at the same time. Beyond the issue of the dissociation between an implicit motor representation and more cognitive processing of spatial information, the issue of the interaction between these two systems is thus a matter of interest. It is suggested that the conscious, cognitive representation of a stimulus can contaminate or override the short-lived motor representation, but no reciprocal influence seem to occur. The interaction observed in patients can also be investigated in normals. The literature provides examples of interaction between sensorimotor and cognitive framing of space, which confirm that immediate action is not mediated by the same system as delayed action, and that elaborating a categorial representation of the action goal prevents the expression of the short-lived sensorimotor representation. It is concluded that action can be controlled by a sensory system which is specialized for on-line processing of relevant goal characteristics. The temporal constraints of this system are such that it can affect the action before a full sensory analysis of this goal has been completed. The performance obtained on the basis of this spatial sensory processing suggests that short-lived motor representations may rather be considered as real ''presentation'' of the action world, which share its metric properties. (shrink)
A further step in Pylyshyn's discontinuity thesis is to examine the penetrability of haptic (tactual-kinesthetic) perception. The study of the perception of orientation and the “oblique effect” (lower performance in oblique orientations than in vertical–horizontal orientations) in the visual and haptic modalities allows this question to be discussed. We suggest that part of the visual process generating the visual oblique effect is cognitively impenetrable, whereas all haptic processes generating the haptic oblique effect are cognitively penetrable.
A visual analogue, two-route model of somatosensory processing is advanced in this commentary. Touch for perception is seen as separate from, although interconnected with, touch for action. Separate modules are additionally proposed for internal (body) and external (object-related) somatosensation. Here we ask whether dissociation (divide) guarantees better efficiency (impera) in terms of the heuristic model within the somatosensory modality and across modalities.
The Theory of Event Coding (TEC) provides a preliminary account of the interaction between perception and action, which is consistent with several recent findings in the area of motor control. Significant issues require integration and elaboration, however; particularly, distractor interference, automatic motor corrections, internal models of action, and neuroanatomical bases for the link between perception and action.