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Author Archives: Jennifer MacDonald

Reflecting on class

Out of the choices for MALS intro classes, I was most struck by the write-up for this class, asking about self and consciousness, because I’d never really thought about it so specifically before. The materials in the syllabus were new to … Continue reading

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“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” –Wilde

Hustvedt’s novel centers on the theme of masks, self-awareness, and self-deception, among others. Overall, Harry is offered as an ever-changing multiple, but she is also still somehow singular and knowable. In her diaries, she always wonders about and re-presents her young … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Literature, Multiplicity, Narrative, Siri Hustvedt | 2 Comments

3 prompts in 1 post

Prompt #1: LIEBERMAN AND DAMASIO (mirror neurons, mentalizing, as-if body loop, empathy, body-minded brain, self) Lieberman/Social: pp. 149-150: “Being able to see a series of body movements as a coherent coordinated action that can be characterized in a few words is … Continue reading

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Lieberman discussion questions

For discussion: 1. As readers, how do we approach and digest the information we are consuming? What enables us to trust and/or distrust the writer and the material they are presenting?   a) On page 19, Lieberman asserts that the default network supports … Continue reading

Posted in Discussion Questions, Lieberman, The Writing Process | 2 Comments

my 25 random things

I enjoyed this exercise… I liked the lines from Viegener most when he was telling me something he’d learned from visiting places and hanging out with people, like hearing it from a friend in conversation. That said, most of mine are … Continue reading

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Mental health and homeostasis

My parents are both psychiatric nurses who worked their entire careers in state-run mental health facilities. In Casey, there is a line from the Director (on p. 151): “There is pleasure in a schedule…. It calms the mind.” This made … Continue reading

Posted in Assignments, Ian Hacking, Maud Casey | 2 Comments

Sacks nyt op-ed

Don’t mean to be a total downer, but Oliver Sacks wrote an op-ed today on learning he has terminal cancer. In a short space, he mentions Hume, doing/seeing in the present, and detaching from future experience. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/oliver-sacks-on-learning-he-has-terminal-cancer.html?_r=0

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Damasio’s birth of knowing

In “Stepping Into the Light,” Damasio says “At its simplest… consciousness lets us recognize an irresistible urge to stay alive and develop a concern for the self. At its most complex… consciousness helps us develop a concern for other selves and improve … Continue reading

Posted in Assignments, Damasio, Mind and Brain | 1 Comment