Michael Crowe is a distinguished professor emeritus in the Program of Liberal Studies and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.A. Professor Crowe is a specialist in the history of modern physical science. He is a prolific writer who has published eleven books. His eleventh is The Gestalt Shift in Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Stories, which is his second book on the Great Detective. It was published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2018.
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The book has eight chapters, in which the author focuses on Conan Doyle’s Holmes novels (being four of them) and fifty-six short stories of the world famous sleuth. The Professor’s starting-point is that you find an interesting pattern known as a Gestalt shift in nearly all the Holmes stories. Gestalt psychology’s (gestalt means shape or configuration in German) central principle is that when one gains meaningful knowledge in a plausibly chaotic world one forms a global whole from the information it collects by means of self-organizing. To put it simply, while trying to solve a mystery, Sherlock Holmes reveals a new perspective and this helps him to find the culprit.
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