Espejos y Espejismos: Reflexiones Cognitivas Binarias y Difusas del Pensamiento Occidental en el Quijote

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/238645
Title:
Espejos y Espejismos: Reflexiones Cognitivas Binarias y Difusas del Pensamiento Occidental en el Quijote
Author:
Rivas, Juan Carlos
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Humans seem to have a cognitive predisposition for perceiving different concepts in terms of opposite extremes, which in turn fosters an either / or mentality where only two contrary views are possible - tertium non datur. This tendency is also reflected in Don Quixote, where the arrangement of multiple and diverse elements through dualistic patterns is so prevalent, and represent such an essential structural characteristic, that it becomes Cervantes’s own ars poetica. However, once readers look beyond the apparent dichotomies, a higher degree of complexity emerges. We can debate whether Don Quixote is either crazy or sane using the Aristotelian aut / aut logic, but a different possibility would also be enlightening - tertium datur. This dissertation offers an alternative critical framework which combines cognitive theories of categorization and perception with the ideas of Heraclitus, Abelard’s Sic et Non, and Bart Kosko’s Fuzzy Thinking based on Lofti Zadeh’s Fuzzy Logic. Through the new fuzzy and (ambi)valent logic Don Quixote can be perceived simultaneously as crazy and sane - sic et non - since both possibilities are valid at the same time. This new approach reveals that Cervantes employs dualities - equal and opposing elements - not to simplify but rather to make us reflect and deepen our knowledge of the human condition. Thus, Don Quixote functions as a mirror (speculum) in numerous levels, since the text’s self-reflexive structure can in turn provoke reflections and interpretations ad infinitum. Chapter 1 of the dissertation explores the long tradition surrounding the use of dualities from classical antiquity to the Early Modern period from a binary perspective. Chapter 2 establishes a theoretical framework based on a fuzzy and (ambi)valent cognitive categorization and perception. That framework is then applied in chapter 3 to the dichotomies explored in chapter 1, and then, in chapter 4, to the dualistic categories and schemata in Don Quixote. Chapter 5 analyzes the interconnectedness of cognitive entities which are typically studied separately: the author (Cervantes), the text (Don Quixote), and the readers (the critics), along with their respective contexts. Thus, this is both a critical / analytical study as much as a meta-analytical / meta-critical endeavor.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
La Celestina; Lazarillo de Tormes; Logica difusa; Miguel de Cervantes; Spanish; Ambivalencia; Don Quixote
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Spanish
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Williamsen, Amy R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEspejos y Espejismos: Reflexiones Cognitivas Binarias y Difusas del Pensamiento Occidental en el Quijoteen_US
dc.creatorRivas, Juan Carlosen_US
dc.contributor.authorRivas, Juan Carlosen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractHumans seem to have a cognitive predisposition for perceiving different concepts in terms of opposite extremes, which in turn fosters an either / or mentality where only two contrary views are possible - tertium non datur. This tendency is also reflected in Don Quixote, where the arrangement of multiple and diverse elements through dualistic patterns is so prevalent, and represent such an essential structural characteristic, that it becomes Cervantes’s own ars poetica. However, once readers look beyond the apparent dichotomies, a higher degree of complexity emerges. We can debate whether Don Quixote is either crazy or sane using the Aristotelian aut / aut logic, but a different possibility would also be enlightening - tertium datur. This dissertation offers an alternative critical framework which combines cognitive theories of categorization and perception with the ideas of Heraclitus, Abelard’s Sic et Non, and Bart Kosko’s Fuzzy Thinking based on Lofti Zadeh’s Fuzzy Logic. Through the new fuzzy and (ambi)valent logic Don Quixote can be perceived simultaneously as crazy and sane - sic et non - since both possibilities are valid at the same time. This new approach reveals that Cervantes employs dualities - equal and opposing elements - not to simplify but rather to make us reflect and deepen our knowledge of the human condition. Thus, Don Quixote functions as a mirror (speculum) in numerous levels, since the text’s self-reflexive structure can in turn provoke reflections and interpretations ad infinitum. Chapter 1 of the dissertation explores the long tradition surrounding the use of dualities from classical antiquity to the Early Modern period from a binary perspective. Chapter 2 establishes a theoretical framework based on a fuzzy and (ambi)valent cognitive categorization and perception. That framework is then applied in chapter 3 to the dichotomies explored in chapter 1, and then, in chapter 4, to the dualistic categories and schemata in Don Quixote. Chapter 5 analyzes the interconnectedness of cognitive entities which are typically studied separately: the author (Cervantes), the text (Don Quixote), and the readers (the critics), along with their respective contexts. Thus, this is both a critical / analytical study as much as a meta-analytical / meta-critical endeavor.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectLa Celestinaen_US
dc.subjectLazarillo de Tormesen_US
dc.subjectLogica difusaen_US
dc.subjectMiguel de Cervantesen_US
dc.subjectSpanishen_US
dc.subjectAmbivalenciaen_US
dc.subjectDon Quixoteen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSpanishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWilliamsen, Amy R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKinkade, Richard P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMorales, Monicaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWilliamsen, Amy R.en_US
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