Fact, Fiction, and Representation

Four Novels by Gilbert Sorrentino

Fact, Fiction, and Representation

First ever full-length study of four works by Gilbert Sorrentino, the contemporary American novelist.

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast

Here, in a new edition, is Nelson Goodman's provocative philosophical classic--a book that, according to Science, "raised a storm of controversy" when it was first published in 1954, and one that remains on the front lines of philosophical debate. How is it that we feel confident in generalizing from experience in some ways but not in others? How are generalizations that are warranted to be distinguished from those that are not? Goodman shows that these questions resist formal solution and his demonstration has been taken by nativists like Chomsky and Fodor as proof that neither scientific induction nor ordinary learning can proceed without an a priori, or innate, ordering of hypotheses. In his new foreword to this edition, Hilary Putnam forcefully rejects these nativist claims. The controversy surrounding these unsolved problems is as relevant to the psychology of cognitive development as it is to the philosophy of science. No serious student of either discipline can afford to misunderstand Goodman's classic argument.

On the Nature of Human Resource Development

Holistic Agency and an Almost-Autoethnographical Exploration of Becoming

On the Nature of Human Resource Development

The nature of human resource development (HRD) has been, and remains, a contested topic – the debate was sparked in part by Monica Lee’s seminal 2001 paper which refused to define the discipline of HRD, but has been accentuated by increasing globalization, political unrest, inequality and the erosion of boundaries. Should HRD now be seen as more than ‘training,’ or a sub-function of large western bureaucracy? This book represents a very wide view of HRD: that it is at the core of our ‘selves’ and our relationships, and that we continually co-create ourselves, our organisations and societies. These ideas are hung upon a model of Holistic Agency, and supported from sources as diverse as evolutionary psychology, science fiction, the challenges of transitional economies, and the structural uncertainties of contemporary society. Examining the tensions between self and other, agency and structure, the book draws inspiration from an almost-autoethnographic approach. This yields a text that is personal, entertaining, and easier to read than many academic tomes – yet considers the depth and development of the human condition, and locates HRD within that.

Augmentation of Brain Function: Facts, Fiction and Controversy

Volume I: Brain-Machine Interfaces

Augmentation of Brain Function: Facts, Fiction and Controversy

Volume I, entitled “Augmentation of Brain Functions: Brain-Machine Interfaces”, is a collection of articles on neuroprosthetic technologies that utilize brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). BMIs strive to augment the brain by linking neural activity, recorded invasively or noninvasively, to external devices, such as arm prostheses, exoskeletons that enable bipedal walking, means of communication and technologies that augment attention. In addition to many practical applications, BMIs provide useful research tools for basic science. Several articles cover challenges and controversies in this rapidly developing field, such as ways to improve information transfer rate. BMIs can be applied to the awake state of the brain and to the sleep state, as well. BMIs can augment action planning and decision making. Importantly, BMI operations evoke brain plasticity, which can have long-lasting effects. Advanced neural decoding algorithms that utilize optimal feedback controllers are key to the BMI performance. BMI approach can be combined with the other augmentation methods; such systems are called hybrid BMIs. Overall, it appears that BMI will lead to many powerful and practical brain-augmenting technologies in the future.

The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing

The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing

To what extent do best-selling travel books, such as those by Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Bruce Chatwin and Michael Palin, tell us as much about world politics as newspaper articles, policy documents and press releases? Debbie Lisle argues that the formulations of genre, identity, geopolitics and history at work in contemporary travel writing are increasingly at odds with a cosmopolitan and multicultural world in which 'everybody travels'. Despite the forces of globalization, common stereotypes about 'foreignness' continue to shape the experience of modern travel. The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing, first published in 2006, is concerned with the way contemporary travelogues engage with, and try to resolve, familiar struggles about global politics such as the protection of human rights, the promotion of democracy, the management of equality within multiculturalism and the reduction of inequality. This is a thoroughly interdisciplinary book that draws from international relations, literary theory, political theory, geography, anthropology and history.

Fact and Fiction

Elements of a General Theory of Narrative

Fact and Fiction

How can we develop a cultural theory starting with the basic insight that human beings are "storytelling animals"? Within literary studies, narratology is a highly developed field. However, literary historians have not paid much attention to the large and small stories abounding in everyday discourse, guiding all kinds of social activity, and providing common ground for whole societies—but also fueling controversies and hostilities. Moreover, "narrative" is not only a scholarly category but has come into use in many fields of social activity as a tool for cultural self-fashioning. This book is based on the assumption that to a large extent, social dynamics is modeled in an aesthetic manner via narratives. It explores the narrative organization of cultural spaces and time-frames, the mythological shaping of communities and adversaries, and the co-production of narratives and institutions aimed at stabilizing social life. In this framework, the epistemological problem looms large of how an instrument as unreliable as narrative can participate in the creation of a social consensus regarding truth. This problem endows the general topics explored in this book with a particularly contemporary dimension.

A Companion to Qualitative Research

A Companion to Qualitative Research

A Companion to Qualitative Research draws on the work of an array of leading scholars from Europe, Britain and North America to present a summary of every aspect of the qualitative research process from nuts-and-bolts methods and research styles, to examinations of methodological theory and epistemology. It is one of the few surveys of qualitative research to adopt a genuinely international voice.

Fiction and Narrative

Fiction and Narrative

For the past twenty years there has been a virtual consensus in philosophy that there is a special link between fiction and the imagination. In particular, fiction has been defined in terms of the imagination: what it is for something to be fictional is that there is some requirement that a reader imagine it. Derek Matravers argues that this rests on a mistake; the proffered definitions of 'the imagination' do not link it with fiction but with representations more generally. In place of the flawed consensus, he offers an account of what it is to read, listen to, or watch a narrative whether that narrative is fictional or non-fictional. The view that emerges, which draws extensively on work in psychology, downgrades the divide between fiction and non-fiction and largely dispenses with the imagination. In the process, he casts new light on a succession of issues: on the 'paradox of fiction', on the issue of fictional narrators, on the problem of 'imaginative resistance', and on the nature of our engagement with film.

Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction

Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction

Ten essays from a symposium held at Newcastle University in 1997, which examine the general themes of kingship and imperialism by focusing on the romances that surround Alexander.

Postmodernity, Ethics and the Novel

From Leavis to Levinas

Postmodernity, Ethics and the Novel

Andrew Gibson sets out to demonstrate that postmodern theory has actually made possible an ethical discourse around fiction.