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Slingerland, E. (2008). What science offers the humanities: Integrating body and culture. Cambridge University Press.

This was my introduction to cognitive science. It changed and enriched my perspective on art, literature, thinking, learning, and culture by addressing the current gulf between hard science and the humanities in our universities and popular culture. Challenging the Cartesian mind/body dualism and the cult of “Theory” professed in so many disciplines of the humanities these days, the author discusses the paradigm shift needed for the humanities to be respected in the general culture again, to be considered worth learning about. As someone a profound interest in language, poetry, music, theater, art, and other aspects of the life of the human spirit I appreciate this book for crying out against the humanities’ current obsession with theory for theory’s sake. Perhaps by heeding Slingerland the humanities can once again pursue their vocation: exploring ideas about how to live more fulfilling lives and organize fairer societies.

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