Dream and Culture: An Anthropological Study of the Western Intellectual Tradition
Parman contends that in order to understand dreams we must first of all understand the cultural context within which they are expressed. Certainly we cannot 'interpret' a dream without some preliminary grasp of indigenous notions of psychology, cosmology, and epistemology. Readers are therefore introduced to everything from classical notions of the self through the modern schools of rationalism and psychoanalysis. This book brilliantly shows the vast shifts in Western presuppositions regarding dreams. Parman's insistence on an anthropological approach to dreams constitutes a healthy antidote to the anarchronistic tendency to foist the epistemology of contemporary psychoanalysis back onto earlier periods. Choice In this vital contribution to the study of dream phenomena, Susan Parman investigates the Western cultural structures of knowledge and meaning that relate to dreams. She explores the history of dream phenomena conceptualization from Homeric Greece to the present day. Parman employs a unique anthropological perspective to interpret historical events and ideas, using the dream as a way of describing assumptions about the mind, what it means to be human, and what humanity's place is in the universe. Parman synthesizes both scientific and humanistic approaches to the study of dreams and raises questions about the nature of scientific interpretations. By analyzing the cultural and historical context in which dreams are interpreted, she develops an anthropological approach to the study of dreams as cultural symbols. Parman's analysis is presented in terms of semiotic anthropology--the semantics (meanings), syntactics (linkages with other symbols), and pragmatics (uses) of the dream in different historical arenas in the Western intellectual tradition. Ultimately about epistemology, Dream and Culture will be an invaluable book for interdisciplinary courses on dreams and for classes in the humanities, as well as for interpreting the nature of scientific inquiry as an aspect of the Western intellectual tradition.
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allegorical dream vision Artemidorus Augustine awakening became body century A.D. chapter Christ Christian Classical Age concept context corporeal creative cultural system daimonic Dante Dante's Divine Comedy demons Descartes developed Divine Comedy Dodds dream allegory dreamer eighteenth emerged encyclopaedic Enlightenment epistemology eternal evil existence expressed false dreams Freud gods Goff Greek hierarchy High Middle Ages Homeric human ideas images imagination insomnium integrate intellectual Interpretation of Dreams Jean de Meun Judeo-Christian Jung knowledge Leibniz Life's a Dream linked literary Macrobius Macrobius's meaning metaphor mind mystical nature Neoplatonic Neoplatonists occult pagan phenomenal world philosophical Plato Plotinus poem prophetic psyche quest rational reality reason reflected religious Renaissance Roman Empire Romantic Movement Rose Scholasticism scientific secular shaman Sigismund sleep somnium soul Spinoza spirit supernatural symbols Synesius Tertullian theology things thought transcendent true and false truth unconscious understanding unified universe untrue Western culture writings wrote