Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play  book cover
1st Edition

Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play

ISBN 9780367509699
Published March 4, 2020 by Routledge
172 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
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.


"Bennett’s book combines depth with theoretical sophistication... the work confidently animates a template of analytic philosophy on drama with engaging examples and thoughtful application... The book is ultimately an invigorating and probative examination of theatre and philosophy." -- David Krasner, Theatre Journal