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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Philosophy and Literature
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.13
Number of Followers: 30  
 
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ISSN (Print) 0190-0013 - ISSN (Online) 1086-329X
Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [305 journals]
  • On Wittgenstein, Lydia Davis, and Other Uncanny Grammarians

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      Abstract: There is, after all, something oppressive about a philosophy which seems to have uncanny information about our most personal philosophical assumptions.1With and following Stanley Cavell, significant work has been done at the intersection between literary studies and Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy. Cavell gave us memorable readings of Samuel Beckett and William Shakespeare, among others. Charles Altieri, Cora Diamond, Garry Hagberg, Marjorie Perloff, Toril Moi, Bernard Harrison, and other scholars have reinforced these connections while also using Wittgenstein (and Cavell) to read many other literary figures, including Henrik Ibsen, Henry James, and Gertrude Stein.2 Here, I aim to ask a different question. Not how ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Flann O'Brien, Wittgenstein, and the Idling of Language

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      Abstract: Flann O'Brien, the most widely recognized pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan, has in recent years been recognized as a major experimental Irish writer whose work has drawn comparisons to that of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Whereas Beckett's solution to the problem of writing after Joyce was to pursue a minimalist aesthetic and a reduction of literary forms, O'Brien adopted alternative strategies of metafiction, fantasy, and satire in works such as At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman, The Poor Mouth, and The Dalkey Archive.1 While recognition of his achievements as a novelist has grown in recent years, it was primarily his satirical column in the Irish Times, Cruiskeen Lawn, written under the pseudonym Myles na ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Shakespeare Faciebat: Non-Finito Aesthetics in Timon of Athens

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      Abstract: At the turn of the sixteenth century, Michelangelo crafted the Pietà, a sculpture of Mary holding Jesus in her lap after his crucifixion. Across Mary's garments there is an unconventional sash where the artist carved, "MICHAEL A[N]GELUS BONAROTUS FLORENT[INUS] FACIEBA[T]," which translates to "Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, was makin[g]."1 It was not unusual for artists to sign their works with the term "faciebat" as a modest way of avoiding harsh criticism by implying that the artwork was never truly complete—it is always in the making, as the verb implies. But the Pietà is fascinating because not only does Michelangelo use the imperfect tense of the verb in lieu of the perfect "fecit," he also omits the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • From Heideggerian Dasein to Melvillean Masquerade: Historiology and
           Imaginative Excursion in Philip Roth's The Facts

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      Abstract: While recent scholarship establishes the relevance of Sartrean philosophy for the fiction of Philip Roth, attention to the importance for Roth of related Heideggerian concern remains scant.1 My attention to Roth's The Facts, with regard to these varied existential outlooks, hinges on divergent explanations of consciousness—that is, Dasein (sein "being"; da "there"). Whereas in Being and Nothingness (L'être et le néant) Jean-Paul Sartre defines consciousness as the upsurge of negation that distinguishes Dasein from that which it is not, Heidegger, in Being and Time (Sein und Zeit), posits being there as a temporal situation in which consciousness, a "state-of-mind," finds itself "Being-thrown" into a world of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Agency, Luck, and Tragedy

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      Abstract: On Saturday, May 15, 2004, William J. "Billy" Post, age thirty-four; his pregnant wife, Anita, thirty-six; and their two-year-old daughter Koby were traveling eastbound on U.S. Interstate 70 near Evergreen, Colorado.1 Shortly before 10 a.m., as they passed under the C-470 overpass then under construction, a forty-ton girder collapsed onto their Dodge Durango, entirely shearing off the upper cab of the vehicle and killing all three occupants instantly. Later investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board showed this event to have been eminently avoidable. A number of observers, including a senior Colorado transportation engineer, noticed the girder twisted and sagging in the hours and even days before it ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Why Deconstruction Might Work in Theory but Not in Practice

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      Abstract: The idea that a text can be deconstructed is easy to take for granted. In what follows, I discuss the motivation and reasonableness of wanting to undertake a deconstructive reading of a literary or philosophical text and offer a pragmatic critique of the possibility that one might be able to successfully carry that out. The notion of deconstruction is not something I venture to define here as much as describe enough as to be able to show that, even if deconstruction can be said to represent, in principle, a justifiable approach to reading a text of that nature, in practice, it is rather questionable to think one can ever do this in general. The questionable character of any attempt at deconstructing a text of this ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Why Do Philosophers Neglect the Short Story' (And Why They Shouldn't)

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      Abstract: Afew years back Anna Christina Ribeiro pointed out that there was, and had been for some time, a widespread neglect of poetry by philosophers of art; moreover, the "generalist attitude" toward the philosophical study of literature that underlay this neglect was, she convincingly argued, misguided.1 The distinctive features of poetry (for example, its use of formal devices such as rhyme, meter, and alliteration, as well as its frequent reliance on figurative language) called for a distinct philosophy of poetry rather than what seemed to confront her at that point—a generic philosophy of literature that largely ignored the particular issues raised by the form.The case for pursuing a philosophy of poetry is strong. ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Divination and Correlative Thinking: Origins of an Aesthetic in the Book
           of Changes and Book of Songs

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      Abstract: In his search for common origins of all languages and letters in his magnum opus New Science, Giambattista Vico argues that the first human language was articulated in the form of poetry, which employs heroic emblems "such as similes, comparisons, images, metaphors, and description of nature."1 This language is also a "symbolic language" spoken by "poets who spoke by means of poetic symbols" (NS, p. 320). A major outcome of his research yields a truism: the first human language is poetic language. Relying on his study of Egyptian, Greek, Latin, Chinese, and other ancient civilizations' linguistic and poetic data, he further discovers that "poetic expression springs from two sources: the poverty of language, and the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Don't Feed the Liars! On Fraudulent Memoirs, and Why They're Bad

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      Abstract: For me, this all began with a conversation about James Frey. You know James Frey: he's the chap who went on Oprah with a memoir about his life as an alcoholic, then ended up having to go back on Oprah to get ripped into, well, a million little pieces for having made a bunch of it up. In thinking his book a calamitous thing to happen to the world of letters, I didn't imagine I was being particularly original or controversial. But then I happened to use it as an offhand example of something in conversation, and all of a sudden I found myself meeting with resistance. "What's wrong with A Million Little Pieces'" I was asked. "So what if it's made up' All memoirs are made up! If readers get something out of it, what's ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Don't Lie to Me about Fictional Characters: Meinongian Incomplete Objects
           to the Rescue of Truth in Fiction

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      Abstract: Intuitively, I hold that all of the following statements are true:Sherlock Holmes is a detective.Sherlock Holmes is a character in stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.Sherlock Holmes does not exist.Despite our commonplace discourse about nonexistent objects, how statements about nonexistent objects can be true—or false for that matter—is not obvious. Simply put, what makes a statement true is to say something about an object that is the case, such as ascribing a property to the object that the object actually has. With nonexistent objects there is a problem: How can anything be said truly about an object that doesn't exist when there is no such thing to which the properties can be ascribed' Moreover, the intentional ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Narration, Lying, and the Orienting Response

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      Abstract: Imagine you are strolling along a shaded, tree-lined sidewalk in a quaint little town. You feel content and are expecting a relaxing day. Suddenly, your contentment is shattered by what sounds like a gunshot close at hand. Instantly, involuntarily, your head ducks down, your arms lift to each side of your head, and your body turns toward the sound. Your attention is laser focused on determining what that sound means, and nothing else. You perceive a cloud of black smoke fading away behind a truck. You notice that everyone else on the street is similarly oriented toward the truck. You realize the sound was an engine backfire. Your muscles begin to relax and you continue your walk. After a few moments you realize ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Meaning of the Liar Paradox in Randall Jarrell's "Eighth Air Force"

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      Abstract: Randall Jarrell's poem "Eighth Air Force," like many of his early poems, deals with his experience in the U.S. Air Force.1 This poem contains a poetic version of the classical liar paradox of the form proposed by Eubulides in the fourth century BCE, "I am now lying," as a device to capture a certain dimension of the inherent duplicity of human life.2 The paradox results because Eubulides's self-referential statement has the consequence that if it is true then it is false and if it is false then it is true. That is, one is lying if and only if one is not lying.Section 1 provides a brief biography of Jarrell's tragic life. In the second section I offer a brief account of the main themes in this poem. Section 3 ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Virtue of Erotic Curiosity

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      Abstract: Ibegin, as many other commentators on the role of curiositas in Apuleius's Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass)1 do, by noting the wealth of scholarship on this topic. Although many angles have been taken on the specific nature of curiosity in The Golden Ass, it is nearly always marked as the tragic downfall of the novel's narrator/protagonist, Lucius.2 Most readings point to Lucius's unbridled curiosity about dark magic, idle gossip, and tales that are grotesque, profane, and pornographic as the attribute that literally makes an ass out of him. I enter this conversation, however, in defense of what I see as curiosity's divine status. Apuleius's text belongs to a Platonic tradition that tends to be critical of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "Money for which my Buttocks had labored so vigorously": John Locke and
           Sexual Labor in The London Jilt

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      Abstract: John Locke famously established the concept of private property based on the individual's physical labor. In his philosophy, Locke defines every person as the proprietor of their own body who can rightfully expand this proprietorship through bodily labor. His argument that labor is the source of individual property has been regarded as revolutionary, departing from other philosophers such as Hugo Grotius and Samuel von Pufendorf who upheld the view that property is created by the consent of society.2 Locke is well known as the first philosopher to propose the idea of individual property rights as natural rights. However, the nascent idea that individuals have the right to expand their property by means of physical ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Machiavelli, Philosopher and Playwright

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      Abstract: In his Epistle to the Pisos (better known as Ars Poetica), Horace advises aspiring playwrights to use their work to teach and delight,1 a dictum that has resonated down through the ages and has been referred to as the "Horatian platitude."2 In the preface to his comedy Clizia, Niccolò Machiavelli echoes Horace: "Comedies were discovered in order to benefit and to delight the spectators. Truly it is a great benefit to any man, and especially to a youth, to know the avarice of an old man, the passion of a lover, the tricks of a servant, the gluttony of a parasite, the misery of a pauper, the ambition of one who's rich, the flatteries of a whore, the untrustworthiness of all men."3And what of Machiavelli's Mandragola' ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play by Michael Y. Bennett
           (review)

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      Abstract: There is no better time than the present to be studying the intersections of drama, theater, and philosophy. Since 2000, numerous monographs have been published on the interrelation between those subjects, and organizations such as the Performance Philosophy Network continue to promote innovative research by theater professionals and academics alike. However, a lacuna remains in this bustling scholarly enterprise. This scholarship, by and large, tends to draw from either ancient philosophy (such as Martin Puchner's The Drama of Ideas, which centers on Plato) or from Continental European thought (such as Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca's Theatres of Immanence: Deleuze and the Ethics of Performance). As is often the case in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Giving Way: Thoughts on Unappreciated Dispositions by Steven Connor
           (review)

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      Abstract: In "Who the Meek Are Not," poet Mary Karr thinks it unlikely that peasants, serfs, and the socially low will inherit the earth. Puzzling out that beatitude, she instead conjures the image of "a great stallion at full gallop / in a meadow, who—/at his master's voice—seizes up to a stunned / but instant halt."1 We are then invited to picture his muscles rippling even when at rest, to see in that rippling an immense power purposely held back. Blessed are the meek, for they restrain what they could unleash.If this is not exactly the theme of Steven Connor's book on unappreciated dispositions, it comes close. In his revaluation of those quieter virtues that decline to speak their names, he draws a link between ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle by
           David Edmonds (review)

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      Abstract: The main title and subtitle of this well-researched, lucidly written, and engaging book reflect the author's double-sided approach. On the one hand, David Edmonds uses individual life stories (including Moritz Schlick's) as a route of access to key philosophical, political, and sociocultural issues and trends in the first half of the twentieth century. On the other hand, in chronicling the broader history of the origins, aims, and legacy of the Vienna Circle, he shows how individual lives were caught up in—and shaped by—the group's collective endeavor to "marry an old empiricism with the new logic" (p. 3), pioneered by thinkers such as Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, and Ludwig ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-06-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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