Transformations of the Supernatural
Problems of Representation in the Work of Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe's work displays a keen interest in stories of supernatural encounters. Once considering how one might prove supernatural occurrences and whether one can trust eyewitness accounts, Defoe demonstrates that more is at stake. Like his contemporaries, Defoe wonders about the range of scientific insight, and about the moral and epistemological ramifications of unchallenged trust and faith. His transformations of the supernatural probe the boundaries of knowledge and evidence and play with the limits of cognition, emphasizing the inseparability of mind and emotion.