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By Jerome Bruner

Jerome Bruner argues that the cognitive revolution, with its present fixation on brain as "information processor;" has led psychology clear of the deeper aim of figuring out brain as a author of meanings. merely via breaking out of the constraints imposed via a computational version of brain will we snatch the specific interplay in which brain either constitutes and is constituted by way of tradition.

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Extra resources for Acts of Meaning (Four Lectures on Mind and Culture - Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)

Example text

It, is reality a-constiUciioii~1 • Most thinkirigpeople to~ wowifopt for some mild perspectival position. But very few are prepared to abandon the notion of a singular aboriginal reality altogether. Indeed, Carol Feldman has even proposed a would-be hwnan universal whose principal thesis is that we endow the conclusions of our cognitive reckonings with a special, "external" ontological status. " She calls this altogether hwnan failing "ontic dwnping," and she has never had to look far for instantiations of her universal.

Thus armed, we shall look more closely at how narrative organizes experience, using human 35 • Acts of Meaning • memory as our example. And finally, I shall want to explicate the "meaning-making" process in the light of the foregoing. :;ion "folk psychology" could not be more appropriate for the uses to which I want to put it. 3 Let me sketch out its intellectual history briefly, for it will help put things in a broader context. Its current usage began with a sophisticated revival of interest in "the savage mind" and particularly with the structure of indigenous classification systems.

That shapes human life and the human mind, that gives mean- , ing to action by situating its underlying intentional states in . an interpretive system. It does this by imposing the patterns · inherent in the culture's symbolic systems-its language and discourse modes, the forms of logical and narrative explication, and the patterns of mutually dependent communal life. Indeed, neuroscientists and physical anthopologists are coming increasingly to the view that cultural requirements and opportunities played a critical role in selecting neural characteristics in the evolution of man-a view most recently espoused by Gerald Edelman on neuroanatomical grounds, by Vernon Reynolds on the basis of physical anthropological evi- ' dence, and by Roger Lewin and Nicholas Humphrey with · reference to primate evolutionary data.

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