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Contradictory Woolf$
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Derek Ryan and Stella Bolaki

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533955.001.0001

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The Feeling of Knowing in Mrs Dalloway

The Feeling of Knowing in Mrs Dalloway

Neuroscience and Woolf

(p.108) The Feeling of Knowing in Mrs Dalloway
Contradictory Woolf

Sowon S. Park

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines how the body and mind can meet across disciplinary divides between neuroscience and literature. It comments on psycholinguist and cognitive neuroscientist Steven Pinker's dismissal of Virginia Woolf's modernism and compares Antonio Damasio's science of consciousness with Woolf's model of mind. It argues that while thinking and feeling may seem like contradictory cognitive processes they are reshaped into a continuum of feeling of knowing in Woolf as reflected in Mrs Dalloway (1925). It also cites “On Being Ill” (1926) as an example of Woolf writing about “mind depending upon flesh”. It proposes a theory of consciousness that takes into account the significance of affect, offered as the “feeling of knowing,” and of Woolf to the field of consciousness studies.

Keywords:   body, mind, neuroscience, Steven Pinker, Antonio Damasio, consciousness, feeling of knowing, Mrs Dalloway, affect

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