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Narrative and Paradigmatic Modes of Thought


by Jerome S. Bruner — 1985

Let me begin by setting out my argument as baldly as possible and then go on to examine its basis and its consequences. It is this. There are two irreducible modes of cognitive functioning—or more simply, two modes of thought—each meriting the status of a "natural kind." Each provides a way of ordering experience, of constructing reality, and the two (though amenable to complementary use) are irreducible to one another. Each also provides ways of organizing representation in memory and of filtering the perceptual world. Efforts to reduce one mode to the other or to ignore one at the expense of the other inevitably fail to capture the rich ways in which people "know" and describe events around them.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 84, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 86 Number 6, 1985, p. 97-115
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19134, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 5:45:01 AM

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  • Jerome Bruner

    JEROME BRUNER conducts research in developmental psychology.
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