Philosophy and Literature 41 (2):471-482 (2017)

Melvin Chen
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
What is philosophy and literature? It is (or at least ought to be) a truth universally acknowledged that this is a question to which there are no easy answers. Does philosophy and literature constitute a subdiscipline of philosophy, as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of science, and even philosophy of religion do? Alternatively: ought it constitute a subdiscipline of philosophy if it does not already do so? What is the nature of the relationship between philosophy and literature and literary and philosophical studies? Where might its limits be located? These are some of the important questions that intellectuals who have worked in this field from its inception have sought to address. The answers yielded thus far by their combined efforts, however, have been unsatisfying. The purpose of this essay therefore is to attempt to shed further light on the nature of the field of philosophy and literature and its limits, with the accompanying hope that, as philosophy and literature gains in coherence, rigor, and organization, its credibility as a field will be raised in some modest measure among my philosophical colleagues.
Keywords Philosophy & Literature  Paradox of Continual Beginning  Philosophy and Literature
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1353/phl.2017.0052
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