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Number of Pages: 158
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2011
|Dimensions: 7.70 X 5.13 X 0.51 (inches)|
In this ambitious book, acclaimed writer Marilynne Robinson applies her astute intellect to some of the most vexing topics in the history of human thought—science, religion, and consciousness. Crafted with the same care and insight as her award-winning novels, Absence of Mind challenges postmodern atheists who crusade against religion under the banner of science. In Robinson’s view, scientific reasoning does not denote a sense of logical infallibility, as thinkers like Richard Dawkins might suggest. Instead, in its purest form, science represents a search for answers. It engages the problem of knowledge, an aspect of the mystery of consciousness, rather than providing a simple and final model of reality.
By defending the importance of individual reflection, Robinson celebrates the power and variety of human consciousness in the tradition of William James. She explores the nature of subjectivity and considers the culture in which Sigmund Freud was situated and its influence on his model of self and civilization. Through keen interpretations of language, emotion, science, and poetry, Absence of Mind restores human consciousness to its central place in the religion-science debate.
"Robinson's arguments [are] so much more interesting, capacious, and informed than most. . . . Robinson makes a strong, unapologetic case, not for mystery but for self-respect."Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
"Pulitzer Prize-winner Robinson may be the only living novelist who has made a genuine contribution to philosophical reflection. . . . One of the most thought-stirring inquiries into fundamental questions that has appeared in many years."John Gray, Globe & Mail
"[Robinson] is one of the best thinkers in American letters. Her new (nonfiction) work is a slashing attack on scientific fundamentalism, not on behalf of religion but of human consciousness and our traditional concept of mind."Macleans
"Marilynne Robinson asks hard questions. She challenges readers with a severe, sophisticated and spellbinding style and a determination to change the conversation about contemporary American culture. . . . Absence of Mind is important not so much as a brief for religion but as a tenacious and often trenchant critique of modern Western thought."Glenn Altschuler, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"What Robinson has over both the parascientific writers whose work she rejects and the religion writers with whom she finds common ground is a long career (though few books) as a fiction writer, where she has demonstratedand in her way, provided evidence ofthe very contemplative, subjective lives of the faithful she defends in her new book."Scott Korb, The Revealer