Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists

Paperback | November 24, 2015

byLaura Otis

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Rethinking Thought takes readers into the minds of 30 creative thinkers to show how greatly the experience of thought can vary. It is dedicated to anyone who has ever been told, "You're not thinking!", because his or her way of thinking differs so much from a spouse's, employer's, orteacher's. The book focuses on individual experiences with visual mental images and verbal language that are used in planning, problem-solving, reflecting, remembering, and forging new ideas. It approaches the question of what thinking is by analyzing variations in the way thinking feels.Written by neuroscientist-turned-literary scholar Laura Otis, Rethinking Thought juxtaposes creative thinkers' insights with recent neuroscientific discoveries about visual mental imagery, verbal language, and thought. Presenting the results of new, interview-based research, it offers verbalportraits of novelist Salman Rushdie, engineer Temple Grandin, American Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Nobel prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn. It also depicts the unique mental worlds of two award-winning painters, a flamenco dancer, a game designer, a cartoonist, a lawyer-novelist,a theoretical physicist, and a creator of multi-agent software. Treating scientists and artists with equal respect, it creates a dialogue in which neuroscientific findings and the introspections of creative thinkers engage each other as equal partners.The interviews presented in this book indicate that many creative people enter fields requiring skills that don't come naturally. Instead, they choose professions that demand the hardest work and the greatest mental growth. Instead of classifying people as "visual" or "verbal," educators andmanagers need to consider how thinkers combine visual and verbal skills and how those abilities can be further developed. By showing how greatly individual experiences of thought can vary, this book aims to help readers in all professions better understand and respect the diverse people with whomthey work.

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Rethinking Thought takes readers into the minds of 30 creative thinkers to show how greatly the experience of thought can vary. It is dedicated to anyone who has ever been told, "You're not thinking!", because his or her way of thinking differs so much from a spouse's, employer's, orteacher's. The book focuses on individual experiences...

Laura Otis is a Professor of English at Emory University and a former MacArthur Fellow. With an MA in Neuroscience and a PhD in Comparative Literature, she compares the creative thinking of scientists and literary writers. Otis is the author of Organic Memory, Membranes, Networking, and Muller's Lab; the translator of Santiago Ramon y ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 24, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190213477

ISBN - 13:9780190213473

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Who's the "You"?2. Michael Holquist, David Krakauer, Lynn Margulis, and Jeff Martin: Words Enable and Disable Thought3. Barry Shur, Temple Grandin, Mary Welty, Hugh Wilson, and Natasha Trethewey: The Vast Range of Visual Worlds4. Kate Thorpe, Jonathan Culler, and N. Katherine Hayles: The Space of Language5. Linda Richardson, Nicholas Gessler, David Finkelstein, and Barbara Zettel: Beyond Visual and Verbal Thinking6. Gerd Gigerenzer, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Venkat Narayan: Thinking between Minds7. Salman Rushdie, Jason Rohrer, Edward G. Jones, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Rigoberto A Gonzalez, and Harriet Goren: Creative Conversions8. Mark Bauerlein, Diana Richmond, Jay Hosler, and Scott Gilbert: Learning to Think9. Fluid Individuals, Evolving MindsAppendixNotesBibliographyIndex