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
AFTERWORD by James R. Hamilton
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