The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature is an in-depth examination of literature through a philosophical lens, written by distinguished figures across the major divisions of philosophy. Its 40 newly-commissioned essays are divided into six sections:
The Companion opens with a comprehensive historical overview of the philosophy of literature, including chapters on the study’s ancient origins up to the 18th-20th centuries. The second part defines literature and its different categories. The third part covers the aesthetics of literature. The fourth and fifth sections discuss the meaning and consequences of philosophical interpretation of literature, as well as epistemological and metaphysical issues such as literary cognitivism and imaginative resistance. The sixth section contextualizes the place of philosophy of literature in the "real world" with essays on topics such as morality, politics, race and gender.
Fully indexed, with helpful further reading sections at the end of each chapter, this Companion is an ideal starting point for those coming to philosophy of literature for the first time as well as a valuable reference for readers more familiar with the subject.
'Carroll and Gibson have assembled a truly impressive array of contributions from leading figures in the philosophy of literature. The papers in this volume provide not only a rich and comprehensive picture of the history of the field and its current state of play, but offer compelling original insights that push the discussion forward. It is a gem of a book, invaluable to anyone interested in these issues.'
Marya Schechtman, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
'What is literature? How does it work? Why does it matter? A complete guide to how contemporary philosophy tackles ancient questions, featuring contributions by established figures plus a new wave of scholars. Essential for anyone who wants to think about how to think about literature.'
Dominic McIver Lopes, University of British Columbia, Canada
'The core philosophical questions about literature have been with us since Plato and Aristotle gave them conflicting answers: do great literary works provide us with a unique knowledge, or is it all just morally compromising self-satisfying fantasizing? Contemporary philosophy improves on our understanding on these matters, by invoking relevant scientific results from cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, and by refining and deploying analytic tools from recent philosophy of language and mind, epistemology and metaphysics. This book updates the state of the art with a wide range of accesible but also significantly original contributions from the most influential writers in the field, covering a wide range of topics, from fundamental issues such as narrative, fiction, authorship or interpretation, to the subject's history, genre, or some ethical and political implications.'
Manuel García-Carpintero, University of Barcelona, Spain
'Carroll and Gibson have rendered all philosophers interested in literature an inestimable service with this anthology. Like many of the great literary works discussed, the present volume combines depth of insight, breadth of coverage and rigorous analysis. For philosophers, it is an invaluable resource for study and teaching; for all of us, it is a pleasure to read and reflect on.'
Elisabeth Schellekens, Uppsala University, Sweden
Routledge Philosophy Companions offer thorough, high quality surveys and assessments of the major topics and periods in philosophy. Covering key problems, themes and thinkers, all entries are specially commissioned for each volume and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible and carefully edited and organised, Routledge Philosophy Companions are indispensable for anyone coming to a major topic or period in philosophy, as well as for the more advanced reader.