Aesthetics and Literature

Aesthetics and Literature

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"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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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 17.02mm | 290.3g
  • Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0826496121
  • 9780826496126
  • 1,091,987

Table of contents

1. The Nature of Literature; 2. Artistic Uses of Language; 3. The Nature of Fiction; 4. Reading Fiction I: Truth in a Story; 5. Reading Fiction II: Do Artistic Intentions Matter?; 6. The Nature of Fictional Characters; 7. Literature and the Emotions; 8. The Cognitive Value of Literature; 9. The Ethical Values of Literature; 10. The Accountability of Literature.
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Review quote

"David Davies here offers a succinct, intelligent account of the state of play in a range of philosophical debates concerning literature, focusing on the Anglo-American tradition...If you do not know these debates, this book would be an excellent, efficient route to wide-ranging understanding of the field. If you are familiar with these debates, I think it is well worth following Davies in his forthright examination of the issues...Davies displays an impressive grasp of this field. The book would be a very useful interlocutor in a class studying the philosophical texts Davies considers. In general, the solid argumentative content puts readers in a position to follow through substantively on the issues, and it makes one hope that Davies himself will pursue some of these issues further."- Eileen John, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, September 15, 2008--Sanford Lakoff "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews " "An elegantly written, philosophically stimulating survey of the central issues in the philosophy of literature." - British Journal of Aesthetics, 2008
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About David Davies

David Davies is Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Canada. His previous publications include Art as Performance (Blackwell, 2003).
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Rating details

12 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 33% (4)
4 17% (2)
3 25% (3)
2 17% (2)
1 8% (1)
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