Moby-Dick 's hidden philosopher: A second look at stubb

Philosophy and Literature 32 (2):pp. 330-346 (2008)
The hard-drinking, joke-cracking second-mate of Melville's Moby Dick doesn't receive much respect from critics. At best Stubb is seen as a comic foil, at worst as a cruel coward and mechanical optimist. Yet this perspective distorts the text and does him an injustice. In fact, Stubb can be read quite fruitfully as an exemplar of wisdom. Using recent scholarship to fill out Melville's conception of fine philosophy, a set of criteria emerges for the true philosopher according to which Stubb fares remarkably well.
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