THE WORLD WITHOUT A BOOK

  • Ana Stišović Milovanović Institute for Serbian culture
Keywords: cognition theories, reproductive knowledge, productive knowledge, distopian novel, „crisis of reading“

Abstract

The most valid theories of cognition insists on the importance of the process of acquiring information and understanding it, transforming knowledge (fitting data into a particular system), and finally, verifying what has been learned. The process of cognition must have these steps, in order to fulfill its basic purpose - intellectual development. One of the important assumptions of intellectual development is the ability to move from concrete phenomena, which, with the built up cognitive abilities, are translated into the domain of abstract conception. And last but not least, the process of cognition is a of creativity, which Bruner calls "creative knowledge".
All the elements of learning, or learning about learning, then the application of the learned and the steps from the individual to the general, from the concrete to the abstract, exist most strongly in scientific and literary discourse. In this sense, literary creations also have additional humanistic values, which developing empathy, imagination, or co-creation.
All theories of cognition agree in one thing: that reproductive knowledge is immeasurable, incomparable with productive. Reproductive knowledge generally remains at an acquired level, without the possibility of abstraction, generalization and creative application. Productive knowledge is functional and capable of all of the above, with the ultimate reach of co-creative or creative work.
Dystopian novels, created in the mid-twentieth century, have become a cautionary paradigm of the world we live in, in which reproductive knowledge gradually but surely became primary. The reasons for this are conditioned by global sociological, psychological, phenomenological and even ontological reasons.
Dystopian novels, written in the mid-twentieth century, warn of this process (above all, the works of George Orwell,
Huxley, Bradbury). One of the key phenomena of our time is manifested in Ray Bradbury's novel, Fahrenheit 451. It is a tale of a society where books are perceived first as superfluous, and then dangerous, because they lead to the domain of productive knowledge. Books are burned, and everyone who owns them is actually the enemy of the system. Bradbury's novel deals with the cause and effect of the bookless world, explaining the strong causality between the loss of the capacity for productive, critical and creative thinking, with complete alienation and the loss of empathy, which translates into lifeless, lethargic and meaningless existence.
Bradbury's work is unusually important for understanding the process of the "reading crisis" and the possible outcomes of the already begun processes of reproductive but not productive cognition of the world.

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Published
2020-06-19
How to Cite
Stišović Milovanović, A. (2020). THE WORLD WITHOUT A BOOK. Knowledge International Journal, 40(6), 1151 - 1155. Retrieved from https://ikm.mk/ojs/index.php/KIJ/article/view/4008