Aesthetics and Literature

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A&C Black, Jun 19, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 212 pages
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The Continuum Aesthetics series looks at the aesthetic questions and issues raised by all major art forms. Stimulating, engaging and highly readable, the series offers food for thought not only for students of aesthetics, but also for anyone with an interest in philosophy and the arts.
 
Aesthetics and Literature places philosophical aesthetics at the heart of thinking about literature. The book takes concrete examples from the traditional and contemporary literary arts and uses them to introduce all the central philosophical issues in literature. David Davies considers, with stimulating insight and great clarity, the nature of literature and fiction, artistic uses of language, and the nature of fictional characters. He goes on to explore our emotional responses to literature, the cognitive value and ethical values of literature and the accountability of the literary arts.
 
The book offers a clear, non-technical analysis of each key issue, its broader significance and the principal positions that philosophers have taken on it. Davies presents the relevant philosophical background in a manner that is accessible to philosophy students and lay readers alike. Anyone interested in the philosophy of literature will find this book a rich source of ideas, insight and information. Combining a clear and engaging style with a sophisticated treatment of a fascinating subject, Aesthetics and Literature is a valuable contribution to contemporary aesthetics.
  

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User Review  - Melanie Daves - Goodreads

Chapters 7-9 were good... Read full review

Contents

1 The nature of literature
1
2 What is a literary work?
17
3 The nature ofiction
32
Truth in a story
49
Interpreting literary works
70
6 The nature of fictional characters
98
7 Literature and the emotions
120
8 The cognitive value of literature
142
9 Literature morality and society
164
Notes
189
Bibliography
200
Index
207
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About the author (2007)

David Davies is Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Canada. His previous publications include Art as Performance (Blackwell, 2003).

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