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1. Demythologizing literacy
2. Theories of literacy and mind from Levy-Bruhl to Scribner and Cole
3. Literacy and the conceptual revolutions of Classical Greece and Renaissance Europe
4. What writing represents: a revisionist history of writing
5. What writing doesn't represent: how texts are to be taken
6. The problem of interpretation: the recovery of communicative intention
7. A history of reading: from the spirit of the text to the intentions of the author
8. Reading the Book of Nature: the conceptual origins of early modern science
9. A history of written discourse: from mnemonics to representations
10. Representing the world in maps, diagrams, formulas, pictures and texts
11. Representing the mind: the origins of subjectivity
12. The making of the literate mind.
Resumo: What role has writing played in the development of our modern understanding of language, nature, and ourselves? In the historical and developmental account, David Olson offers a new perspective on this process. Reversing the traditional assumption about the relation between speech and writing, he argues that writing provides an important model of the way we think about speech; that our consciousness of language is structured by our writing system. In addition, he argues that writing provides our dominant models for thinking about nature and the mind, and shows how our understanding of the world and our understanding of ourselves are by-products of our ways of creating and interpreting written texts. This challenging study draw in recent advances in history, anthropology, linguistics, and psychology.