In this Book

Between Science and Literature
summary
Between Literature and Science follows through to its emerging 21st-century future the central insight of 20th-century literary and cultural theory: that language and culture, along with their subsystems and artifacts, are self-referential systems. The book explores the workings of self-reference (and the related performativity) in linguistic utterances and assorted texts, through examples of the more open social-discursive systems of post-structuralism and cultural studies, and into the sciences, where complex systems organized by recursive self-reference are now being embraced as an emergent paradigm. This paradigmatic convergence between the humanities and sciences is autopoetics (adapting biologist Hubert Maturanas term for self-making? systems), and it signals a long-term epistemological shift across the nature/culture divide so definitive for modernity. If cultural theory has taught us that language, because of its self-referential nature, cannot bear simple witness to the world, the new paradigmatic status of self-referential systems in the natural sciences points toward a revived kinship of language and culture with the world: language bears witness? to the world. _x000B_The main movement of the book is through a series of model explications and analyses, operational definitions of concepts and terms, more extended case studies, vignettes and thought experiments designed to give the reader a feel for the concepts and how to use them, while working to expand the autopoetic internee by putting cultural self-reference in dialogue with the self-organizing systems of the sciences. Along the way the reader is introduced to self-reference in epistemology (Foucault), sociology (Luhmann), biology (Maturana/Varela/Kauffman), and physics and cosmology (Smolin). Livingston works through the fundamentals of cultural, literary, and science studies and makes them comprehensible to a non-specialist audience.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword: Writing Between
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xiii
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  1. 1 The Livingthinglikeness of Language
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. 2 Words and Things
  2. pp. 4-10
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  1. 3 Thirds and Wings
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. 4 The Order of Things in a Nutshell
  2. pp. 15-24
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  1. 5A rtistic Interlude I: The Sick Mind Continues to Infinity
  2. pp. 25-30
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  1. 6 An Introductory Vignette
  2. pp. 31-35
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  1. 7 Sometimes a Cigar
  2. pp. 36-38
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  1. 8 On Meaning
  2. pp. 39-42
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  1. 9 Fact and Fiction
  2. pp. 43-50
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  1. 10 How Bad Facts Make Good Theories
  2. pp. 51-57
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  1. 11 Self-Reference I
  2. pp. 58-69
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  1. 12 Self-Reference II
  2. pp. 70-77
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  1. 13 Autopoiesis
  2. pp. 78-89
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  1. 14 Poetic Interlude: Defrosting
  2. pp. 90-96
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  1. 15 Performativity I: Power and Meaning
  2. pp. 97-108
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  1. 16 Performativity II: Metacleavage
  2. pp. 109-119
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  1. 17 Artistic Interlude II: The Abyss of Distinction
  2. pp. 120-123
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  1. 18 Performativity III: Retroactivism
  2. pp. 124-133
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  1. 19 The Return to Resemblance
  2. pp. 134-145
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  1. 20 Gravity Cannot Be Held Responsible?
  2. pp. 146-159
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  1. 21 Queer in a Queer World
  2. pp. 160-173
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  1. 22 An Alienist History
  2. pp. 174-182
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 183-188
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 189-192
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