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  1. added 2018-08-05
    Modernity, Madness, Disenchantment: Don Quixote's Hunger.Rebecca Gould - 2011 - Symploke 19 (1):35-53.
    This essay considers the relation between Don Quixote's hunger and the disenchantment (Entzauberung) that Max Weber understood as paradigmatic of the modern condition. Whereas hunger functions within a Hegelian dialectic of desire in Cervantes' novel, literary representations of hunger from later periods (in Kafka and post-Holocaust Polish poetry) acknowledge the cosmic insignificance of human need by substituting the desire for recognition with a desire for self-abdication. While Don Quixote's hunger drives him to seek recognition for his dream world, modern literature's (...)
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  2. added 2018-04-15
    The Noble Art of Lying.James Mahon - 2017 - In Alan Goldman (ed.), Mark Twain and Philosophy. pp. 95-111.
    In this chapter, I examine the writings of Mark Twain on lying, especially his essays "On the decay of the Art of Lying" and "My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It." I show that Twain held that there were two kinds of lies: the spoken lie and the silent lie. The silent lie is the lie of not saying what one is thinking, and is far more common than the spoken lie. The greatest silent lies, according to (...)
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  3. added 2018-03-27
    Leo Tolstoy’s tragic death and his impacts on Max Weber and György Lukács: On autonomy of arts and science/ O tema da morte trágica de Liev Tolstói e set impacto em Max Weber e György Lukács: Sobre a autonomia nas ciências e na arte.Luis F. Roselino - 2014 - Revista História E Cultura 3 (1):150-171.
    The tragic death in Tolstoy's writings has helped both Max Weber and György Lukács in characterizing the modern pathos as a tragic contemplation of the emptiness of life. Through Tolstoy's readings, Weber and Lukács found an interesting source of denying arts and modern sciences autonomy, considering, from the aesthetics sphere, the meaningless of this new immanent reality. Both has assumed Tolstoy main theme from the same perspective, contrasting ancient and modern worldviews. Max Weber presented this theme in his disenchantment of (...)
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  4. added 2018-03-27
    Arte, sociedade e luxo: sobre o gosto e o refinamento nas cartas filosóficas de Voltaire / Art, Society and Luxury. Taste and Refinement On Voltaire´s Philosophical Letters.Luis F. Roselino - 2011 - Argumentos 3 (5):51-62.
    Voltaire has presented in his Letters on the English different themes, from religious ethics, literacy, politics, to dramas and science. The letters present us a comparison between England and France. In this parallel we shall present how Voltaire was concerned in evaluate a high standard of taste and refinements. This paper will review some of the last letters of those, which testify about this criterion of taste as a modern point of view. We shall present in Voltaire the eminence of (...)
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  5. added 2016-11-20
    A Double-Edged Sword: Honor in "The Duellists".James Edwin Mahon - 2013 - In Alan Barkman, Ashley Barkman & Nancy King (eds.), The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott. Lexington Books. pp. 45-60.
    In this essay I argue that Ridley Scott's first feature film, The Duelists, which is an adaptation of a Joseph Conrad novella, contains his deepest meditation on honor in his entire career. The film may be said to answer the following question about honor: is being bound to do something by honor, when it is contrary to one's self-interest, a good thing, or a bad thing? It may be said to give the answer that it may be either good or (...)
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  6. added 2016-04-02
    Our Toil Respite Only: Woolf, Diamond and the Difficulty of Reality.Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé - 2015 - MLN 130 (5):1-28.
    In this essay, I read Woolf’s To the Lighthouse together with philosopher Cora Diamond’s writing on literature and moral life, writing marked by her inheritance from Wittgenstein. I first attend to Woolf’s commitment (one she shares with Wittgenstein) to grappling with what I take to be signature issues of modernism: question, quest, and a longing for vision or revised understanding as a way of confronting the difficulty of reality. I then probe Woolf’s engagement with these issues by reading her novel (...)
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  7. added 2016-03-28
    On Making Sense of Oneself: Reflections on Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending.Dhananjay Jagannathan - 2015 - Philosophy and Literature 39 (1A):106-121.
    Life can be awful. For this to be the stuff of tragedy and not farce, we require a capacity to be more than we presently are. Tony Webster, the narrator of Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending, poses a challenge to this commitment of ethics in his commentary on the instability of memory. But Barnes leads us past this difficulty by showing us that Tony’s real problem is his inability to make sense of himself—a failure of self-knowledge. Tony’s past (...)
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  8. added 2016-03-21
    Morality by Words: Murdoch, Nussbaum, Rorty.Tracy Llanera - 2014 - Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture 18 (1):1-17.
    Despite the initial strangeness of grouping Iris Murdoch (a Platonist), Martha Nussbaum (an Aristotelian), and Richard Rorty (a pragmatist) together, this paper will argue that these thinkers share a strong commitment to the moral purport of literature. I will also show that their shared idea of moral engagement through literature interlocks the individual’s sense of self and the world of others. After considering their accounts, I will conclude by raising the question of literature’s moral limits.
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  9. added 2016-02-29
    On Novels as Arguments.Gilbert Plumer - 2015 - Informal Logic 35 (4):488-507.
    If novels can be arguments, that fact should shape logic or argumentation studies as well as literary studies. Two senses the term ‘narrative argument’ might have are (a) a story that offers an argument, or (b) a distinctive argument form. I consider whether there is a principled way of extracting a novel’s argument in sense (a). Regarding the possibility of (b), Hunt’s view is evaluated that many fables and much fabulist literature inherently, and as wholes, have an analogical argument structure. (...)
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  10. added 2016-01-04
    Novels as Arguments.Gilbert Plumer - 2011 - In Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, David Godden & Gordon Mitchell (eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation [CD-ROM]. Amsterdam: Rozenberg / Sic Sat. pp. 1547-1558.
    The common view is that no novel IS an argument, though it might be reconstructed as one. This is curious, for we almost always feel the need to reconstruct arguments even when they are uncontroversially given as arguments, as in a philosophical text. We make the points as explicit, orderly, and (often) brief as possible, which is what we do in reconstructing a novel’s argument. The reverse is also true. Given a text that is uncontroversially an explicit, orderly, and brief (...)
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  11. added 2016-01-03
    Cognition and Literary Ethical Criticism.Gilbert Plumer - 2011 - In Frank Zenker (ed.), Argumentation: Cognition & Community. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation [CD-ROM]. Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation. pp. 1-9.
    “Ethical criticism” is an approach to literary studies that holds that reading certain carefully selected novels can make us ethically better people, e.g., by stimulating our sympathetic imagination (Nussbaum). I try to show that this nonargumentative approach cheapens the persuasive force of novels and that its inherent bias and censorship undercuts what is perhaps the principal value and defense of the novel—that reading novels can be critical to one’s learning how to think.
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  12. added 2014-03-28
    The Problem of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler & Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - In John Gibson & Noël Carroll (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. Routledge. pp. 405-418.
    The problem of imaginative resistance holds interest for aestheticians, literary theorists, ethicists, philosophers of mind, and epistemologists. We present a somewhat opinionated overview of the philosophical discussion to date. We begin by introducing the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. We then review existing responses to the problem, giving special attention to recent research directions. Finally, we consider the philosophical significance that imaginative resistance has—or, at least, is alleged to have—for issues in moral psychology, theories of cognitive architecture, and modal epistemology.
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  13. added 2014-03-20
    The Moral Thinking of Macbeth.J. Gregory Keller - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):41-56.
    In her article, "Thinking and Moral Considerations," Hannah Arendt provides a provocative approach to the question of evil by suggesting that banal evil-the most common kind-may arise directly from thoughtlessness. If that is so, thinking may provide an antidote to evil. Learning to think would then offer the individual and society protection against the dangers of thoughtless evil. She further suggests that thinking may clear the way for a form of judging that "when the chips are down" may turn people (...)
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  14. added 2013-11-25
    Grasping the 'Raw I': Race and Tragedy in Philip Roth's 'The Human Stain'.Lydia L. Moland - 2008 - Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 2 (2).
    Philip Roth’s novel 'The Human Stain' recounts an instance of racial passing: its protagonist, Coleman Silk, is African-American but light-skinned enough to pass as white. Coleman’s decision to pass and his subsequent violent death, I argue, confront us with complex ethical questions regarding unjust social roles, loyalty, and moral luck. I also argue, building on Hegel’s definition of tragedy, that 'The Human Stain' is a particularly modern tragedy. The novel highlights conflicting role obligations, inadequate conceptions of freedom, and the tensions (...)
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  15. added 2012-07-05
    The Fictional Character of Pornography.Shen-yi Liao & Sara Protasi - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 100-118.
    We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...)
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  16. added 2012-07-05
    Moral Persuasion and the Diversity of Fictions.Shen-yi Liao - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):269-289.
    Narrative representations can change our moral actions and thoughts, for better or for worse. In this article, I develop a theory of fictions' capacity for moral education and moral corruption that is fully sensitive to the diversity of fictions. Specifically, I argue that the way a fiction influences our moral actions and thoughts importantly depends on its genre. This theory promises new insights into practical ethical debates over pornography and media violence.
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  17. added 2011-05-13
    Sympathy and Scapegoating in J.M. Coetzee.Andy Lamey - 2010 - In Anton Leist & Peter Singer (eds.), J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature.
    J.M. Coetzee’s book, 'Elizabeth Costello' is one of the stranger works to appear in recent years. Yet if we focus our attention on the book’s two chapters dealing with animals, two preoccupations emerge. The first sees Coetzee use animals to evoke a particular conception of ethics, one similar to that of the philosopher Mary Midgley. Coetzee’s second theme connects animals to the phenomena of scapegoating, as it has been characterized by the philosophical anthropologist René Girard. While both themes involve human (...)
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