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The Distinction of Fiction

Cohn, Dorrit Paperback. 9" X 6". ix, 197pp. Mild rubbing, toning, and bumps to covers, corners, and edges of paper wraps. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is sound. ABOUT THIS BOOK: Winner of the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies The border between fact and fiction has been trespassed so often it seems to be a highway. Works of history that include fictional techniques are usually held in contempt, but works of fiction that include history are among the greatest of classics. Fiction claims to be able to convey its own unique kinds of truth. But unless a reader knows in advance whether a narrative is fictional or not, judgment can be frustrated and confused. In The Distinction of Fiction, Dorrit Cohn argues that fiction does present specific clues to its fictionality, and its own justifications. Indeed, except in cases of deliberate deception, fiction achieves its purposes best by exercising generic conventions that inform the reader that it is fiction. Cohn tests her conclusions against major narrative works, including Proust's A la Recherche du temps perdu, Mann's Death in Venice, Tolstoy's War and Peace, and Freud's case studies. She contests widespread poststructuralist views that all narratives are fictional. On the contrary, she separates fiction and nonfiction as necessarily distinct, even when bound together. An expansion of Cohn's Christian Gauss lectures at Princeton and the product of many years of labor and thought, The Distinction of Fiction builds on narratological and phenomenological theories to show that boundaries between fiction and history can be firmly and systematically explored.(Publisher).
  • $15
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The Laws of Emotion

Frijda, Nico H. Paperback. 9" X 6". xiv, 352pp. Mild rubbing and shelf wear to covers, corners, and edges of paper wraps. A few spots of toning to edges of text block. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is sound. ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Laws of Emotion is an accessible work that reviews much of the insightful new research on emotions conducted over the last ten years. It expands on the theory of emotions introduced in Nico Frijda's earlier work and addresses a number of unanswered, basic problems on emotion theory. The author's goal is to better understand the underlying psychological mechanisms of emotion. In this book, Professor Frijda also examines previously neglected topics of emotion such as determinants of emotional intensity, the duration of emotions, and sexual emotions. It touches on both evolutionary and neuroscientific explanations. The book begins by reviewing a number of principles governing emotion, or "the laws of emotion". The author then examines the passionate nature of emotions and the motivational processes underlying them, and the nature and causes of pleasure and pain. Professor Frijda then explores the processes that lead to emotional arousal, including cognitive influences and why people care more about certain things than others. Emotional intensity is then discussed, including the often-neglected topic of the course of emotions over time. The book concludes with the author's insights into complex emotional domains such as sex, revenge, and the need to commemorate past events. The Laws of Emotion will appeal to social, cognitive, and developmental psychologists, social scientists, philosophers, and neuroscientists, as well as anyone interested in the workings of the mind. It also serves as a text for advanced courses in the psychology of emotions or the neuroscience of emotions.(Publisher).
  • $20
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A Friend to God’s Poor

Armstrong, William H. Hardcover. 9 1/2" X 6 1/2". xiii, 518pp. Very mild shelf wear to covers, corners, and edges of unclipped dust jacket. Bound in orange cloth over boards with spine lettered in black. Slight lean to spine. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is sound. ABOUT THIS BOOK: A Friend to God's Poor is the first full-length biography of Edward Parmelee Smith (1827-1876), a Congregational minister from New England and a leading light in forming an evangelical response to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The biography weaves together important strands of American church history: the reform movement, the assistance the churches gave to President Grant's Indian Policy, and the movement to bring the gospel to Africa. While he was a student at Union Theological Seminary, Smith spent his spare time working for the Children's Aid Society, going among the poorest tenements of New York City seeking out destitute children. One "cold, raw, wet day, passing up Second Street, near First Avenue," Smith noticed a pair of boots exposed under a cart box. Bending down to look in, he saw a young boy preparing for breakfast: "From a deep pocket of his long coat he brought up a dry crust, from the other he pulled out a dirty package and began unwrapping a bit of paper, then a rag, and so on for several layers till he came to the bone, which he gnawed like a dog." During his time with the Children's Aid Society, Smith helped place hundreds of such children in homes. While serving a church in Pepperell, Massachusetts, he volunteered as a delegate of the United States Christian Commission, established during the war to provide religious and relief services for Union soldiers, black as well as white. After serving in the Army of the Potomac, Smith was sent west to organize the commission's work in the Army of the Cumberland. By the end of the war, he was the commission's field secretary. After the Civil War, Smith was employed by the American Missionary Association, an "undenominational" organization formed by evangelical Christians who worked for the welfare of freed slaves. In close cooperation with the Freedmen's Bureau, Smith helped organize scores of schools for freedmen, including such institutions as Fisk and Atlanta universities, Hampton Institute, and Tougaloo and Talladega colleges. When President Grant asked the churches to assist in the reform of the United States Office of Indian Affairs, Smith offered his services and was appointed agent for the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota. Later, Grant appointed him U.S. commissioner of Indian affairs. Smith's appointment was the culmination of Grant's peace policy toward Native Americans. With this appointment, a Protestant minister became guardian of the country's nearly four hundred thousand native peoples, who were considered wards of the nation. During his two and a half years as commissioner, his conduct was the subject of six official investigations. The story of those investigations not only sheds light on the character of Edward Smith but also illuminates the working of the Indian Office during an administration too simply labeled corrupt. Five days after leaving the position of commissioner, Smith was appointed president of Howard University. He served briefly in this position before his death in Africa at the age of forty-nine. Using a wide variety of sources, William Armstrong tells the compelling story of one evangelical Christian's public service. In so doing, he provides a perspective on some of the most significant humanitarian movements of the nineteenth century.(Publisher).
  • $20
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Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

Gigerenzer, Gerd; Todd, Peter M.; ABC Research Group Paperback. 9 1/4" X 6 1/4". xv, 416pp. Mild toning and shelf wear to covers, corners, and edges of paper wraps. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is sound. ABOUT THIS BOOK: Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart invites readers to embark on a new journey into a land of rationality that differs from the familiar territory of cognitive science and economics. Traditional views of rationality tend to see decision makers as possessing superhuman powers of reason, limitless knowledge, and all of eternity in which to ponder choices. To understand decisions in the real world, we need a different, more psychologically plausible notion of rationality, and this book provides it. It is about fast and frugal heuristics--simple rules for making decisions when time is pressing and deep thought an unaffordable luxury. These heuristics can enable both living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices, classifications, and predictions by employing bounded rationality. But when and how can such fast and frugal heuristics work? Can judgments based simply on one good reason be as accurate as those based on many reasons? Could less knowledge even lead to systematically better predictions than more knowledge? Simple Heuristics explores these questions, developing computational models of heuristics and testing them through experiments and analyses. It shows how fast and frugal heuristics can produce adaptive decisions in situations as varied as choosing a mate, dividing resources among offspring, predicting high school drop out rates, and playing the stock market. As an interdisciplinary work that is both useful and engaging, this book will appeal to a wide audience. It is ideal for researchers in cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, and cognitive science, as well as in economics and artificial intelligence. It will also inspire anyone interested in simply making good decisions.(Publisher).
  • $15