An appeal to neuroscience troubles Jean Piaget’s narrative of typical development. While a child may consciously slough off animistic tendencies as she matures, her lower-level perceptual systems—the detection of movement, for example—continue to treat objects as if they were alive. Moreover, recent studies have discovered animistic tendencies in both the elderly and those with cognitive disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Animism is neither a stage through which a child passes nor a stage to which a child eventually returns. It is a continuous undercurrent or baseline, our awareness of which fluctuates during the life course. A cognitive, critical disability studies reading of Melville’s novel Pierre reveals it to be wildly animistic, on the side of entities that cannot, or do not wish, to speak. His emergent eco-sensitivity finds expression in the attempt to give voice to both lower-level perceptual systems and inarticulate things.

A mute wooing: animism in Pierre

martinez benedi, pilar
;
2022

Abstract

An appeal to neuroscience troubles Jean Piaget’s narrative of typical development. While a child may consciously slough off animistic tendencies as she matures, her lower-level perceptual systems—the detection of movement, for example—continue to treat objects as if they were alive. Moreover, recent studies have discovered animistic tendencies in both the elderly and those with cognitive disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Animism is neither a stage through which a child passes nor a stage to which a child eventually returns. It is a continuous undercurrent or baseline, our awareness of which fluctuates during the life course. A cognitive, critical disability studies reading of Melville’s novel Pierre reveals it to be wildly animistic, on the side of entities that cannot, or do not wish, to speak. His emergent eco-sensitivity finds expression in the attempt to give voice to both lower-level perceptual systems and inarticulate things.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/177253
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