Aesthetics and Literature
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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1 The nature of literature
2 What is a literary work?
3 The nature ofiction
Truth in a story
Interpreting literary works
6 The nature of fictional characters
7 Literature and the emotions
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221B Baker Street actual world aesthetic affective responses Animal Farm Anna Karenina argues Aristotle articulated artistic vehicle ascribe audience beliefs Carroll Chapter claim cognitivism cognitivist constraints context counterfactual critical Currie Currie’s Dalloway difﬁculties discourse about ﬁction emotions entities example exist explicitly true Fictional ﬁctional author ﬁctional characters ﬁctional discourse ﬁctional narratives ﬁctive utterance ﬁnd ﬁrst Gaut genuine George Orwell given Gregor Samsa horror Ibid identiﬁed imaginative individual intentional object intentionalist justiﬁed kind knowledge Kripke linguistic literary artworks literary cognitivism literary ﬁction literature make-believe matter Meinongian Menard moral names narrator non-ﬁction novel paradox particular philosophical pity poem possible worlds properties question reader reading reﬂect relevant requires Riddley Walker satisﬁes scientiﬁc seems semantic intentions sense sentences Sherlock Holmes signiﬁcant slime speaker speech act Stecker story sufﬁcient text-type textualism textualist theory things tions token truth understanding unstated background uptake utterer’s meaning work’s