Abstract

This article constructs Poe's implicit conceptualizations of a dynamic epistemology and superior epistemic competencies and their relationship to three attitudinal imperatives: a devaluation of a racism founded on biological determinism, the cultivation of a historical consciousness attuned to acculturation, and bricolage as a new measure that intimates ingenuity. Poe employs bricolage to delineate a spectrum of epistemic competence and to deny the existence of epistemic equivalence between the cultured mind of the aristocratic Egyptian mummy and the parochial minds of the sham Yankee scientists. Given these philosophical registers in “Some Words with a Mummy,” the study postulates that Poe seems to find in ancient Levantine scientific culture the inspiration and a model for a dynamic epistemology and superior epistemic competencies, both of which depend on the de-idealization of positivistic logic and espousal of a heuristics that is mindful of likely relationalities among diverse objects and elements and is practiced by an imaginative savant-bricoleur.

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