The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature

Front Cover
NoŽl Carroll, John Gibson
Routledge, Dec 7, 2015 - Philosophy - 520 pages

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature is an in-depth examination of literature through a philosophical lens, written by distinguished figures across the major divisions of philosophy. Its 40 newly-commissioned essays are divided into six sections:

  • historical foundations
  • what is literature?
  • aesthetics & appreciation
  • meaning & interpretation
  • metaphysics & epistemology
  • ethics & political theory

The Companion opens with a comprehensive historical overview of the philosophy of literature, including chapters on the study’s ancient origins up to the 18th-20th centuries. The second part defines literature and its different categories. The third part covers the aesthetics of literature. The fourth and fifth sections discuss the meaning and consequences of philosophical interpretation of literature, as well as epistemological and metaphysical issues such as literary cognitivism and imaginative resistance. The sixth section contextualizes the place of philosophy of literature in the "real world" with essays on topics such as morality, politics, race and gender.

Fully indexed, with helpful further reading sections at the end of each chapter, this Companion is an ideal starting point for those coming to philosophy of literature for the first time as well as a valuable reference for readers more familiar with the subject.


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Notes on Contributors
Ancient Beginnings
Philosophy of Literature in the Eighteenth Century
Philosophy of Literature in the Nineteenth Century
TwentiethCentury European Philosophy
Analytic Philosophy of Literature
The Idea of Literature
The Novel
The Paradox of Fiction
Fiction and Negative Emotions
Neuroscience and Literature
Narrative Understanding
The Poetic Imagination

Reading Plays as Literature
Popular Fiction
Evolutionary Approaches to Literature
Canon and Tradition
Literary Style
Metaphors in Literature
The Ontology of Literary Works
Fictional Truth and Truth through Fiction
Literary Cognitivism
The Problem of Imaginative Resistance
Literature and Theory of Mind
Literature and Morality
Literature and Marxism
Literature and Race
Literature and Gender

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About the author (2015)

NoŽl Carroll is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His recent books include Art in Three Dimensions, On Criticism, Humor: A Very Short Introduction, Living in an Art World, and Minerva's Night Out: Philosophy, Pop Culture, and Moving Pictures.

John Gibson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Louisville.Among his publications are Fiction and the Weave of Life and, as editor, The Philosophy of Poetry. He is currently working on a book titled Poetry, Metaphor & Nonsense: An Essay on Meaning.

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