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Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions
Author: Cathy Caruth

ISBN: 9780801892691
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 182
Published: 12 August 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.5
Description:


In the prevailing account of English empiricism, Locke conceived of self-understanding as a matter of mere observation, bound closely to the laws of physical perception. English Romantic poets and German critical philosophers challenged Locke's conception, arguing that it failed to account adequately for the power of thought to turn upon itself -- to detach itself from the laws of the physical world. Cathy Caruth reinterprets questions at the heart of empiricism by treating Locke's text not simply as philosophical doctrine but also as a narrative in which "experience" plays an unexpected and uncanny role. Rediscovering traces and transformations of this narrative in Wordsworth, Kant, and Freud, Caruth argues that these authors must not be read only as rejecting or overcoming empirical doctrine but also as reencountering in their own narratives the complex and difficult relation between language and experience.

Beginning her inquiry with the moment of empirical self-reflection in Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding -- when a mad mother mourns her dead child -- Caruth asks what it means that empiricism represents itself as ...

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