Philosophy of Literature: An Introduction by Christopher New

By Christopher New

Literature, just like the visible arts, poses its personal philosophical difficulties. whereas literary theorists have mentioned the character of literature intensively, analytic philosophers have often handled literary difficulties both in the basic framework of aesthetics in any other case in a fashion that's available merely to a philosophical viewers. the current e-book is exclusive in that it introduces the philosophy of literature from an analytic viewpoint obtainable to either scholars of literature and scholars of philosophy. in particular, the booklet addresses: the definition of literature, the excellence among oral and written literature and the id of literary works
the nature of fiction and our emotional involvement with fictional characters
the inspiration of mind's eye and its function within the apprehension of literary works
theories of metaphor and postmodernist idea at the value of the authors' intentions to the interpretationof their work
an exam of the relevance of thruth and morality to literary appreciation
Lucid and good organised and unfastened from jargon,
hilosophy of Literature: An creation bargains clean techniques to standard difficulties and increases new matters within the philosophy of literature.

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Moreover, I am going to suggest in the following discussion that the central idea involved in the term ‘work of fiction’ is that of an invented narrative; and that it is this idea that we need principally to understand. 39 FICTION The question I want to answer in this chapter is this: What makes a discourse a work of fiction? We sometimes call lies and prevarications fictions; and, while works of fiction do not consist of lies, there is a connection between these two uses of the term. For neither lies nor works of fiction (nor sole fictional sentences) are intended to be true, (though fictional works may, nevertheless, be intended to suggest or imply highly important truths).

There are still others about which we may be unsure. The norm is, moreover, relative to the type of discourse. The amount of secondary or implicit meaning 29 WHAT I S L I T E R AT U R E ? 18 The essence of the theory is that the possession of a distinctly higher than average amount of secondary or implicit meaning for the type of discourse in question is a necessary and sufficient condition of the work’s being a literary one in the extended sense of the term. But, unfortunately, it is not. So far from providing a necessary or sufficient condition, the account leads to absurdity.

Some discourses are high in implicit meaning, and they are literary (in the extended sense). Others are low, and they are not. There are still others about which we may be unsure. The norm is, moreover, relative to the type of discourse. The amount of secondary or implicit meaning 29 WHAT I S L I T E R AT U R E ? 18 The essence of the theory is that the possession of a distinctly higher than average amount of secondary or implicit meaning for the type of discourse in question is a necessary and sufficient condition of the work’s being a literary one in the extended sense of the term.

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