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ABSTRACT. One sign of the current crisis in the humanities is the cognitive turn within humanistic disciplines. The study of narrative, traditionally regarded as a branch of literary studies, is a case in point. This paper suggests that, seeking to bridge what they think of as an unfortunate gap between the human and the natural sciences, cognitive narratologists risk conflating important distinctions between different kinds of research acts, offering explanations instead of interpretation. Discussing competing interpretations of Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” the paper argues that this conflation results in a distorted picture of the kind of self-understanding and self-knowledge literary narratives may give rise to. pp. 64–86

Keywords: cognitive science; natural vs. unnatural fiction; nomothetic vs. idiographic research; conversational space; methodology; the homunculus fallacy

ANNIKEN GREVE
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UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway

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