1st Edition

Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play

ISBN 9780367509699
Published March 4, 2020 by Routledge
172 Pages

USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Theatrical characters’ dual existence on stage and in text presents a unique, challenging case for the analytical philosopher.

Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play re-examines the ontological status of theatre and its fictional objects through the "possible worlds" thesis, arguing that theatre is not a mirror of our world, but a re-creation of it. Taking a fresh look at theatre’s key elements, including the hotly contested relationships between character and actor; onstage and offstage "worlds"; and the play-text and performance, Michael Y. Bennett presents a radical new way of understanding the world of the play.

Table of Contents



FOREWORD by Marvin Carlson

INTRODUCTION Theatre and the Mirror of Nature


PART I Exposing the Problem and Proposing a Solution

1 Theatrical Names and Reference: Dialectical-Synecdochic Objects and "Re-Creation"

2 The World of the Play: Theatre as "Re-Creation"

PART II Applying the (Proposed) Solution to the Problems

3 "Liveness"?: The Presumption of Dramatic and Theatrical "Liveness"

4 Boundedness of (Fictional) Theatre to our (Real) World: Actor and Audience Co-Existence

5 Identity across "Possible Worlds": "The World Beyond" the Play


#1 "The Purpose of Playing": Why Go to the Theatre?

#2 Where the World of Theatre Ends: Performance Art

#3 Make-Believe

AFTERWORD by James R. Hamilton



View More



Michael Y. Bennett is Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.