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Mimesis and Science
Empirical Research on Imitation and the Mimetic Theory of Culture and Religion

Edited by

Scott R. Garrels


This exciting compendium brings together, for the first time, some of the foremost scholars of René Girard’s mimetic theory, with leading imitation researchers from the cognitive, developmental, and neuro sciences. These chapters explore some of the major discoveries and developments concerning the foundational, yet previously overlooked, role of imitation in human life, revealing the unique theoretical links that can now be made from the neural basis of social interaction to the structure and evolution of human culture and religion. Together, mimetic scholars and imitation researchers are on the cutting edge of some of the most important breakthroughs in understanding the distinctive human capacity for both incredible acts of empathy and compassion as well as mass antipathy and violence. As a result, this interdisciplinary volume promises to help shed light on some of the most pressing and complex questions of our contemporary world.

Contents:

Preface

Human Imitation: Historical, Philosophical, and Scientific Perspectives/Scott R. Garrels

Part 1. Imitation in Child Development and Adult Psychology

– From Universal Mimesis to the Self Formed by Desire/Jean-Michel Oughourlian

– Out of the Mouths of Babes: Imitation, Gaze, and Intentions in Infant Research—the “Like Me” Framework/Andrew N. Meltzoff

– Emotions and Mimesis/Paul Dumouchel

– The Two Sides of Mimesis: Mimetic Theory, Embodied Simulation, and Social Identification/Vittorio Gallese

Part 2. Imitation in Human Evolution, Culture, and Religion

– Imitation, Communion, and Culture/Ann Cale Kruger

– Imitation and Violence: Empirical Evidence and the Mimetic Model/Mark R. Anspach

– Sacred Violence, Mimetic Rivalry, and War/Melvin Konner

– Desire, Mimesis, and the Phylogeny of Freedom/William B. Hurlbut

– Naturalizing Mimetic Theory/Jean-Pierre Dupuy

– Mimesis and Science: An Interview with René Girard

Contributors

Index


Violence, Mimesis, and Culture Series

Paperback Edition:B&W photos, notes, index
world rights
272 pp., 6 ” x 9 “, October 2011
paper, $24.95
1-61186-023-7
978-1-61186-023-8