T. S. Eliot and American Philosophy: The Harvard Years

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 5, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 364 pages
Manju Jain's innovative study of T.S. Eliot's Harvard years traces the genesis of his major literary, religious, and intellectual preoccupations in his early work as a student of philosophy, and explores its influence on his poetic and critical practice. His concerns were located within the mainstream of Harvard philosophical debates, especially in relation to the controversy of science versus religion. These questions (and Eliot's work as he grappled with them) point forward to important debates in later philosophy and hermeneutics, especially on such issues as the implications of a relativist historiography, the objectivism of the social sciences, the role and status of interpretation, the critique of foundational knowledge, and the revival of pragmatism. Drawing extensively on unpublished sources, Manju Jain offers answers to the question of why Eliot failed to find satisfaction in an academic career devoted to philosophy (in spite of its close relationship to his literary concerns), and why he abandoned the speculations of metaphysics for the dogmas of theology. Her conclusions offer major new insights into Eliot's early years as an important philosophical source for his poetry and critical thought. -- Back cover.

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