Absence of Mind

Absence of Mind

The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self

By Marilynne Robinson

Yale University Press, Paperback, 9780300171471, 158pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2011

Description

In this ambitious book, acclaimed writer Marilynne Robinson applies her astute intellect to some of the most vexing topics in the history of human thought science, religion, and consciousness. Crafted with the same care and insight as her award-winning novels, "Absence of Mind" challenges postmodern atheists who crusade against religion under the banner of science. In Robinson's view, scientific reasoning does not denote a sense of logical infallibility, as thinkers like Richard Dawkins might suggest. Instead, in its purest form, science represents a search for answers. It engages the problem of knowledge, an aspect of the mystery of consciousness, rather than providing a simple and final model of reality.

By defending the importance of individual reflection, Robinson celebrates the power and variety of human consciousness in the tradition of William James. She explores the nature of subjectivity and considers the culture in which Sigmund Freud was situated and its influence on his model of self and civilization.Through keen interpretations of language, emotion, science, and poetry, " Absence of Mind" restores human consciousness to its central place in the religion-science debate.



About the Author
MARILYNNE ROBINSON is the author of the novels Home, Gileadwinner of the Pulitzer PrizeHousekeeping and Lila, and four books of non-fiction, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, Absence of Mind and When I Was a Child I Read Books. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.