Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Literature: An Analytic Approach

Peterborough, CA: Broadview Press (2008)
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Abstract

What, if anything, distinguishes works of fiction such as Hamlet and Madame Bovary from biographies, news reports, or office bulletins? Is there a "right" way to interpret fiction? Should we link interpretation to the author's intention? Ought our moral unease with works that betray sadistic, sexist, or racist elements lower our judgments of their aesthetic worth? And what, when it comes down to it, is literature? The readings in this collection bring together some of the most important recent work in the philosophy of literature by philosophers such as Martha Nussbaum, John Searle, and David Lewis. The readings explore philosophical issues such as the nature of fiction, the status of the author, the act of interpretation, the role of the emotions in the act of reading, the aesthetic and moral value of literary works, and other topics central to the philosophy of literature

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Carl Alan Matheson
University of Manitoba

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