Postscript to "Rhyme and Cognitive Poetics"

Tsur, Reuven (1996) Postscript to "Rhyme and Cognitive Poetics". [Preprint] (Unpublished)

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The cognitive approach in my paper "Rhyme and Cognitive Poetics" has been criticised from the point of view of historical poetics. This paper enumerates the points of criticism and answers them. The following paragraph sums up my position in answer to that criticism: Cognitive Poetics uses quantitative investigations to establish regularities, makes a sustained effort to ascertain what "the specific effects of poetry" are, through introspection, in controlled experiments in the psychological laboratory, by considering statements of professional critics in their published writings, or by collecting casual reports of students in the classroom. It offers hypotheses drawn from the various branches of cognitive science to relate, systematically, poetic effects to poetic structures with which they have been regularly associated. By the same token, it helps further to refine the formulation of perceived affects collected in a variety of ways from a variety of respondents. Far from relying "on a reader 'in general,' or on a modern (and sometimes unsophisticated) reader", it helps to break up a homogeneous past into a multiplicity of related attitudes, but avoiding scepticism, idiosyncrasy, or chaos. While the historical approach encountered here "is based not so much on insight and intuition as on wide quantitative analyses of observable facts", Cognitive Poetics assumes that the readers of past ages had insights and intuitions, no less than present–day readers; that to understand such insights and intuitions one must study the responses of living readers, and then try to find out in what respects can the responses of readers in the past be supposed to differ from the responses of present-day readers; and that to abandon such inquiries is too high a price to pay for "scientific objectivity".

Commentary on: Tsur, Reuven (1996) Rhyme and Cognitive Poetics. [Journal (Paginated)]
Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:Rhyme; Cognitive Poetics; Historical Poetics; Statistical Approach; Fallacy of Homogeneous Past; Reader-Response Criticism; Mediaeval Readers' Response; Markedness; Grammatical & Antigrammatical Rhyme; Gestalt; Dactylic Rhyme; Homoeoteleuton; Influence-Hunting vs. Cognitive Explanation.
Subjects:Psychology > Psycholinguistics
Psychology > Psychophysics
ID Code:736
Deposited By: Tsur, Reuven
Deposited On:18 Aug 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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