Poetry as a space for cognitive research: Czesław Miłosz and Howard NemerovAbstract
The article is focuses on the interaction of artistic and scientific discourses: scientific thinking into poetry. Based on two poems (Dom filozofa by Czesław Miłosz and The Painter Dreaming in the Scholar’s House by Howard Nemerov), the author examines the possibilities of thinking about cognitive problems in the space of poetry. Reincarnating as their characters (philosopher and artist), Miłosz and Nemerov work in the subject area of professional cognitive scientists, they reproduce the process of analytical thinking.
The article studies the poetic cognitive schemes that create a mental image of reality. Cz. Miłosz and H. Nemerov build a similar route for the verbal representation of the world. The process breaks down into several elements like nomination, categorization, conceptualization and a spatial map of reality (mental image). Nemerov on behalf of the artist creates a map-type representation while Miłoszʼs philosopher accentuates the temporal component of the spatial image, proposing a linear path-map.
The poets conclude that it is not the eye that makes the world visible, but verbal thinking, which translates all empirical facts into verbal signs. The thinker's task is to incorporate the visual image into the mental construct, to create the topology of the world, not represented in the world itself.
Finally, the author considers the value of Miłosz and Nemerov’s texts for modern culture and states that they are illustrations for cognitive research, generators of scientific ideas and they create the marginal area of contemporary cognitive science; meanwhile there is an uncertainty whether the morphological type of language in which “scientific” poetry is created influences thestylistic features of the texts.