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