Logical Fictions in Medieval Literature and Philosophy (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 93)
By: Virginie Greene (author)Hardback
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In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, new ways of storytelling and inventing fictions appeared in the French-speaking areas of Europe. This new art still influences our global culture of fiction. Virginie Greene explores the relationship between fiction and the development of neo-Aristotelian logic during this period through a close examination of seminal literary and philosophical texts by major medieval authors, such as Anselm of Canterbury, Abelard, and Chretien de Troyes. This study of Old French logical fictions encourages a broader theoretical reflection about fiction as a universal human trait and a defining element of the history of Western philosophy and literature. Additional close readings of classical Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and modern analytic philosophy including the work of Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap, demonstrate peculiar traits of Western rationalism and expose its ambivalent relationship to fiction.
Virginie Greene is Professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, Massachusetts. She is author of Cent vues de John Harvard (2011), co-author of Thinking Through Chretien de Troyes (2011), translator of Le debat sur le Roman de la Rose (2006), and editor of The Medieval Author in French Medieval Literature (2006).
Introduction; Part I. Logical Fables: 1. Abelard's donkey: the nonexistent particular; 2. The literate animal: naming and reference; 3. The fox and the unicorn: naming and existence; Part II. Figures of Contradiction: 4. The opponent; 5. The fool who says no to God; 6. The man who says no to reason; Part III. Fathers, Sons, and Friends: 7. Aristotle or the founding son; 8. Abelard or the fatherless son; 9. The dialectics of friendship; Conclusion; Bibliography.
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