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  1. added 2020-05-05
    Allegory and Ethical Education: Stories for People Who Know Too Many Stories.Eileen John - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 52 (4):642-659.
    How can stories contribute to ethical education, when they reach people who have already been shaped by many stories, including ethically problematic ones? This question is pursued here by considering Plato’s allegory of the cave, focusing on a reading of it offered by Jonathan Lear. Lear claims that the cave allegory aims to undermine its audience’s inheritance of stories. I question the possibility and desirability of that project, especially in relation to ethical education. Some works of contemporary fiction by Jenny (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-05
    Coetzee and Eros: A Critique of Moral Philosophy.Eileen John - 2017 - In Beyond the Ancient Quarrel: Literature, Philosophy, and J. M. Coetzee. Oxford, UK: pp. 107-22.
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  3. added 2020-05-01
    The Morals of Stories: Narrating Judgment in Carver, Borges, and Englander.Dillon Rockrohr - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):103-118.
    Once upon a time, a prophet named Nathan narrated a story to David, the Israelite king who had recently ordered the death of his mistress's husband. The story concerned a rich man who pitilessly slaughtered a poor man's lamb for a feast. When Nathan asked King David what the rich man's punishment should be, David declared, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die." Nathan then replied, "You are the man!"1 Despite the fictitious nature of (...)
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  4. added 2020-05-01
    HAGBERG, GARRY L., Ed. Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature. Oxford University Press, 2016, Xii + 389 Pp., $90.00 Cloth. [REVIEW]Ira Newman - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):306-310.
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  5. added 2020-05-01
    Ethical Pluralism and Moral Conflict in Aeschylus's Oresteia.Frits Gåvertsson - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1A):24-39.
    It might seem as if the Weltbild emanating from Aeschylus's plays in general—and the Oresteia in particular, as that shall be my main focus in what follows—exhibits an almost dreamlike incoherence. Building on the works of James J. Helm, I argue that, contrary to this reading, it is fruitful and plausible to read the trilogy as expounding a coherent moral outlook.
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  6. added 2020-05-01
    Hume, Halos, and Rough Heroes: Moral and Aesthetic Defects in Works of Fiction.E. M. Dadlez - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):91-102.
    The starting point of this paper is a recent exchange in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism1 that pits moderate moralism against robust immoralism and has Humean antecedents. I will proceed by agreeing in part with both, but fully with neither, thereby annoying as many people as possible in one go. I believe, with Anne Eaton, the proponent of robust immoralism, that fictions which valorize what she calls "rough heroes" can arouse both aesthetically compelling and morally troubling reactions. On (...)
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  7. added 2020-05-01
    The Natural Rights Exerted in Shakespeare's Bed-Tricks.David Strong - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1A):76-94.
    The theatrical device of the bed-trick occurs fifty-two times in forty-four plays during the English Renaissance.1 Just as in the first two plays employing it, Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany and Grim the Collier of Croyden, male characters arrange 60 percent of the bed-tricks used in gaining control over women. Shakespeare's heroines in All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure, then, appear to mark a decisive break from the bed-trick's evolutionary pattern. Helen and Mariana, respectively, persevere in their endeavors (...)
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  8. added 2020-05-01
    The Idea of the "Good".John C. Hampsey - 2016 - Philosophy and Literature 40 (1):285-296.
    The concept of prayer didn’t exist until the first step outside the garden. And Adam and Eve’s prayers had to be maddened ones, predicated upon a new and shockingly acquired paranoidic consciousness, completely unlike their prelapserian paranoic1 state wherein the primal couple didn’t know hope or prayer inside the amoral edenic, in the egregious garden where anything was possible anytime.And that is why you don’t notice the word “good” in the original account of creation in Genesis; that is, the “J” (...)
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  9. added 2020-05-01
    Sade's Ethics of Emotional Restraint: Aline Et Valcour Midway Between Sentimentality and Apathy.Marco Menin - 2016 - Philosophy and Literature 40 (2):366-382.
    The Marquis de Sade’s work can be considered as one of the inaugural instances of a technique that, within both the philosophical and literary realm, is typical of the nineteenth century: emotional restraint. His disapproval of the rhetoric of empathy and moral sentimentalism assumes particular relevance in that it is an “internal” critique. Availing himself of certain characteristic premises of the sentimentalist philosophy—which are primarily attributable to the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau—Sade completely changes their conclusions, to the point of reaching (...)
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  10. added 2020-05-01
    Only Connect: Moral Judgment, Embodiment, and Hypocrisy in Howards End.Mark Hopwood - 2016 - Philosophy and Literature 40 (2):399-414.
    It is here that the precise point of Forster’s manner appears.... The plot suggests eternal division, the manner reconciliation; the plot speaks of clear certainties, the manner resolutely insists that nothing can be quite so simple. “Wash ye, make yourselves clean,” says the plot, and the manner murmurs, “If you can find the soap.”If a great work of literature is one that admits of many interpretations, then E. M. Forster’s Howards End has—at the very least—a great epigraph. “Only connect...”—only connect (...)
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  11. added 2020-05-01
    Wittgenstein and Leavis: Literature and the Enactment of the Ethical.Danièle Moyal-Sharrock - 2016 - Philosophy and Literature 40 (1):240-264.
    Shakespeare displays the dance of human passions, one might say. … But he displays it to us in a dance, not naturalistically.In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein says that ethics cannot be put into words. This does not mean he thought ethics could not be made manifest; and indeed I will suggest that Wittgenstein took the best manifestation of ethics to be in aesthetics, and more specifically literature. Literature uses words in such a way as to allow ethics to show itself. It (...)
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  12. added 2020-05-01
    Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Charles Altieri - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):101-103.
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  13. added 2020-05-01
    Psychoanalysis and Morality. E. Goodheart - 2003 - Philosophy and Literature 27 (2):444.
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  14. added 2020-05-01
    Ethics, Evil, and Fiction.Connie S. Rosati - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (3):439.
    In this engagingly written book, Colin McGinn advances a number of related theses, most prominent among them, that moral philosophy is in need of new methodologies in order to get at neglected questions about moral character. The methodology McGinn urges involves drawing upon literature for its deep and intricate portrayals of ethical themes. This would seem a natural approach given McGinn’s substantive views about ethics. He contends that our ethical knowledge is aesthetically mediated ; he speculates that the “innateness” of (...)
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  15. added 2020-04-27
    Murder and Midwifery: Metaphor in the Theaetetus.Madeline Martin-Seaver - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):97-111.
    The Theaetetus's midwifery metaphor is well-known; less discussed is the brief passage accusing Socrates of behaving like Antaeus. Are philosophers midwives or monsters? Socrates accepts both characterizations. This passage and Socrates's acceptance of the metaphor creates a tension in the text, birthing a puzzle about how readers ought to understand the figure of the philosopher. Because metaphors play a pivotal role in the dialogue's ethical project, the puzzle presents not simply a textual tension but a question of how and why (...)
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  16. added 2020-04-27
    The Art of "Reading-To" and the Post-Holocaust Suicide in Schlink's The Reader.Michael Lackey - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):145-164.
    The post-Holocaust suicide of a concentration camp survivor is particularly unsettling. One thinks, for instance, of Cliff Stern's devastated response to Professor Louis Levy's death in Woody Allen's movie Crimes and Misdemeanors. Loosely based on Primo Levi, Allen's professor provides in short documentary clips an astute analysis of the contradictions of a loving God in the Old Testament and stoically counsels embracing life despite the indifference and occasional cruelty of the universe. Having experienced, understood, and accepted the absurdity and injustice (...)
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  17. added 2020-04-27
    But Then, A Moral Experiment.Petar Ramadanovic - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):230-235.
    Once upon a time, there was this pilot. His plane was about to crash and he had to choose whether to steer his plane to a less or a more inhabited area. You'd think his choice would be simple, right? But before you give your response, consider the following situation that is practically the same, only a bit different.A judge faces rioters. The crowd demands that the culprit be found guilty for a certain crime or else they will take revenge (...)
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  18. added 2020-04-27
    Virtue Ethics and Literary Imagination.Jay R. Elliott - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):244-256.
    Did Plato see something that Aristotle missed? According to a familiar narrative, Plato regarded literature as dangerous to the aims of philosophy, and he accordingly exiled the poets from his ideal republic. By contrast, Aristotle is supposed to have reconciled literature and philosophy, not only through his appreciative account of epic and tragedy in the Poetics but also through his invocations of literary examples at crucial junctures elsewhere in his corpus, for example his use of the Trojan legend of Priam (...)
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  19. added 2020-04-27
    The Character of Huckleberry Finn.Kristina Gehrman - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (1):125-144.
    Ever since Jonathan Bennett wrote about Huckleberry Finn's conscience in 1974, Mark Twain's young hero has played a small but noteworthy role in the moral philosophy and moral psychology literature. Following Bennett, philosophers read Huck as someone who consistently follows his heart and does the right thing in a pinch, firmly believing all the while that what he does is morally wrong.1 Specifically, according to this reading, Huck has racist beliefs that he never consciously questions; but in practice he consistently (...)
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  20. added 2020-04-27
    Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature.Bradley Elicker - 2017 - British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (3):337-340.
    © British Society of Aesthetics 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comThe essays collected in Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature present unique perspectives on the representation of ethical concerns in literature. Edited by Garry L. Hagberg, these essays address different ways that ethical and aesthetic concerns are interwoven in works of long-form literature such as novels and theatrical works. The (...)
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  21. added 2020-04-27
    The Promise of World Literature.Theodore George - 2014 - Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik 13 (1):128-143.
    In this essay, the author argues that Gadamer's approach to world literature contributes to the call for us mutually to discover our solidarities with those from different traditions, and, thus also, different linguistic traditions. He holds that the discovery of global solidarities is urgent because current prospects to address the world's political, social and economic challenges have been put in jeopardy by the increasingly ubiquitous use of calculative rationality to manage human relations. Gadamer's concern for us to discover solidarities, however, (...)
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  22. added 2020-04-27
    Can Literature Be Moral Philosophy? A Sceptical View on the Ethics of Literary Empathy.Ingrid Vendrell Ferran - 2011 - In Sebastian Hüsch (ed.), Philosophy and Literature and the Crisis of Metaphysics.
    One important aspect of Nussbaum´s thesis on the moral value of literature concerns the power of literature to enhance our ability to empathise with other minds. This aspect will be the focus of the current article. My aim is to reflect upon this question regarding the moral value of our empathy for fictional characters. The article is structured in two main parts. I will first examine the concept of “empathy” and distinguish between empathy for human beings and empathy for fictional (...)
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  23. added 2020-04-27
    Book ReviewRobert Pippin,. Henry James and Modern Moral Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 193. $49.95 ; $19.95. [REVIEW]Alice Crary - 2002 - Ethics 112 (2):403-406.
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  24. added 2020-04-27
    Literary Ethics.Raja Halwani - 1998 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 32 (3):19.
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  25. added 2020-04-27
    Reading for Ethos: Literary Study and Moral Thought.Patrick Colm Hogan - 1993 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 27 (3):23.
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  26. added 2020-04-27
    The Politics of Interpretation: Ideology, Professionalism, and the Study of LiteratureLeft Politics and the Literary Profession.Michael Fischer, Patrick Colm Hogan, Lennard J. Davis & M. Bella Mirabella - 1992 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 50 (2):157.
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  27. added 2020-04-20
    Philosophy to the Rescue. [REVIEW]Joshua Landy - 2007 - Philosophy and Literature 31 (2):405-419.
    Review of Mark William Roche, Why Literature Matters in the Twenty-First Century, and Frank B. Farrell, Why Does Literature Matter?
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  28. added 2020-04-18
    Conditional Goods and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: How Literature (as a Whole) Could Matter Again.Joshua Landy - 2013 - Substance 42 (2):48-60.
    This essay argues that literature is neither an intrinsic good (like oxygen) nor a constructed good (like a teddy-bear) but instead a conditional good, like a blueprint. It has immense potential value, but that potential can be actualized only if readers do a certain kind of work; and readers are likely to do that work only if, as a culture, we retain an understanding of what novels and poems both need from us and can give us. This means we need (...)
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  29. added 2020-04-18
    How to Do Things with Fictions.Joshua Landy - 2012 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    How to Do Things with Fictions considers how fictional works, ranging from Chaucer to Beckett, subject readers to a series of exercises meant to fortify their mental capacities. While it is often assumed that fictions must be informative or morally improving in order to be of any real benefit to us, certain texts defy this assumption by functioning as training-grounds for the capacities: in engaging with them we stand not to become more knowledgeable or more virtuous but more skilled, whether (...)
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  30. added 2020-04-18
    Corruption by Literature.Joshua Landy - 2010 - Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 2 (1).
    This essay argues not just that literature can corrupt its readers—if literature can improve, it can also corrupt—but that some of that is our fault: by telling people to extract moral lessons from fictions, we’ve set them up to be led astray by writers like Ayn Rand. A global attitude of message-mining sets readers up to be misled, confused, or complacent (because they “gave at the office”), as well as to reject some excellent books. Ironically, the best way to make (...)
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  31. added 2020-04-18
    Passion, Counter-Passion, Catharsis : Beckett and Flaubert on Feeling Nothing.Joshua Landy - 2010 - In Garry Hagberg & Walter Jost (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter presents Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy as modern fictions with ancient-skeptical ambitions. Whether in the affective domain (Flaubert) or in the cognitive (Beckett), the aim is to help the reader achieve a position of studied neutrality—ataraxia, époché—thanks not to an a priori decision but to the mutual cancellation of opposing tendencies. Understanding Flaubert and Beckett in this way allows us, first, to enrich our sense of what “catharsis” may involve; second, to see why the apparently (...)
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  32. added 2020-03-17
    Narrative Justice.Rafe McGregor - 2018 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    This important new book provides an original and compelling argument for a new theory of aesthetic education. Rafe McGregor proposes a model of interdisciplinary inquiry, applying a combined philosophical and critical approach to illuminate issues in a social science. The book makes an original contribution to the field of narrative criminology.
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  33. added 2020-03-17
    The Person of the Torturer: Secret Policemen in Fiction and Nonfiction.Rafe McGregor - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 51 (4):44-59.
    Early modern conceptions of aesthetic education propose a necessary relation between aesthetic and moral values such that the appreciation of beauty is a necessary condition for the attainment of virtue. Contemporary conceptions retain the causal connection, claiming that the appreciation of literature in particular produces more responsive readers such that the aesthetic merits of novels are moral merits. J. M. Coetzee agrees that there is a relation between the two spheres of value but maintains that the novelist seeking to represent (...)
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  34. added 2020-03-17
    The Ethical Value of Narrative Representation.Rafe McGregor - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 4 (1):57-74.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend a deflationary account of the ethical value of narrative representation. In sections 1 and 2 I demonstrate that there is a necessary relation between narrative representation and ethical value, but not between narrative representation and moral value. Ethical is conceived in terms of moral as opposed to amoral and moral in terms of moral as opposed to immoral and the essential value of narrative representation is restricted to the former. Recently, both theorists (...)
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  35. added 2020-02-11
    The Heart of What Matters: The Role for Literature in Moral Philosophy.Rupert Read - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):506-509.
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  36. added 2020-01-13
    The Valentine'S Card: Far From the Madding Crowd and the Act/Art of Moral Evaluation.Valerie Wainwright - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):139-154.
    To Wayne Booth it was clear, authors seek to exert control and writers like Jane Austen endeavor to satisfy this imperative through rhetorical techniques that may include the creation of a wise male figure who can be counted upon to provide the necessary guidance for flawed heroine and reader alike. We require help "to direct our reactions," and thus throughout Austen's novel Emma, her hero and "chief corrective," Mr. Knightley, stands in the reader's mind for what Emma lacks.1 Subsequent scholars (...)
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  37. added 2020-01-13
    "Chequer Works of Providence": Skeptical Providentialism in Daniel Defoe's Fiction.Bridget C. Donnelly - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):107-120.
    I mention this story also as the best method I can advise any person to take in such a case, especially if he be one that makes conscience of his duty, and would be directed what to do in it, namely, that he should keep his eye upon the particular providences which occur at that time, and look upon them complexly, as they regard one another, and as all together regard the question before him: and then, I think, he may (...)
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  38. added 2020-01-13
    Boxed.Daniel M. Putnam - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):229-247.
    Skepticism about other minds is typically presented as a straightforwardly epistemological thesis. Eliminativism about folk psychology is typically presented as a straightforwardly metaphysical thesis. But having moral status entails having, or having had, some mental states. And relating to persons as persons presupposes the application of folk-psychological concepts. So neither view can be divorced from ethics.Mary likes watching others. She always has. "Stop," her mother said. "It's rude.""What's rude?""Staring like that. Making people uncomfortable.""How do you know they're uncomfortable?""Because they just (...)
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  39. added 2020-01-13
    Wordsworth: Second Nature and Democracy.Mark S. Cladis - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):89-106.
    What is the relation between democracy and second nature? What, that is, is the relation between a form of government that places a premium on a people shaping their shared destiny and a people who have been shaped by their past inheritance—an assortment of traditions, customs, perspectives, and practices? Does democracy fundamentally seek to escape custom and practice—the oppressive yoke of tradition—or does it, in fact, depend on a cultural inheritance, a second nature?In many standard accounts, Romanticism frees itself from (...)
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  40. added 2020-01-13
    Politics, Religion, and Love'S Transgression: The Political Philosophy of Romeo and Juliet.Zdravko Planinc - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):11-37.
    In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare examines the relationship of the political realm to the things that are outside or beyond politics: family, society, religion, friendship, and love. The play is thus a work of political philosophy, and no less so because it is a work of art in which these things are portrayed concretely through the relationships of the play's characters. The difficulties of interpreting the play are due in part to its aesthetic particularity, but more to the familiarity (...)
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  41. added 2020-01-13
    Narrative Fiction and Epistemic Injustice.Zoë Cunliffe - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (2):169-180.
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  42. added 2020-01-13
    Self-Forgiveness and the Moral Perspective of Humility: Ian McEwan's Atonement.John Lippitt - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):121-138.
    Is it possible to forgive oneself? If so, should the person who has done so, for a serious wrongdoing, be fully at peace with herself? Some philosophers, perhaps most famously Hannah Arendt, have denied the coherence of the very idea of self-forgiveness.1 Others, such as Charles Griswold, have recognized it as both coherent and important: a distinct phenomenon from accepting the forgiveness of others, and vital in circumstances where seeking such forgiveness is morally problematic. Yet Griswold still holds self-forgiveness to (...)
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  43. added 2020-01-13
    Two Responses to Moral Luck.Andrew Ingram - 2018 - Philosophy and Literature 42 (2):434-439.
    I am going to discuss two fictional characters, each of whom embodies opposite reactions to the problem of moral luck identified by Thomas Nagel and Bernard Williams. The two characters are Noah Cross, played by John Huston in Roman Polanski's film Chinatown, and Father Zosima from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov. Cross takes the existence of moral luck as a reason to fly from moral responsibility. Zosima leaps in the opposite direction, toward unlimited moral responsibility. The responses are the (...)
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  44. added 2020-01-13
    “Antigone’s Stance Amongst Slovenia’s Undead.”.Rachel Aumiller - 2017 - Studia Ethnologica Croatica 29:19-42.
    Memorialization in the form of the architectural statue can suggest that our stance towards the past is concrete while memorials in the form of repeated social activity represent reconciliation with the past as a continual process. Enacted memorials suggest that reconciliation with the past is not itself a thing of the past. Each generation must grapple with its inherited memories, guilt, and grief and self-consciously take its own stance towards that which came before it. This article considers Dominik Smole’s post (...)
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  45. added 2020-01-13
    The Immersion Method II (Logic & Malcolm X).Virgil W. Brower - 2012 - Inside Higher Ed, May 3.
  46. added 2020-01-13
    Is That All There Is?Michael Smith - 2006 - Journal of Ethics 10 (1-2):75-106.
    I take issue with two suggestions of Joel Feinberg's: first, that it is incoherent to suppose that human life as such is absurd, and, second, that a particular human life may be absurd and yet saved from being tragic by being fulfilled. I also argue that human life as such may well be absurd and I consider various responses to this.
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  47. added 2020-01-12
    The Libertine Reader: Eroticism and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France.Michel Feher (ed.) - 1997 - New York: Zone Books.
    Irresistibly charming or shamelessly deceitful, remarkably persuasive or uselessly verbose, everything one loves to hate — or hates to love — about “French lovers” and their self-styled reputation can be traced to eighteenth-century libertine novels. Obsessed with strategies of seduction, endlessly speculating about the motives and goals of lovers, the idle aristocrats who populate these novels are exclusively preoccupied with their erotic lives. Deprived of other battlefields in which to fulfill their thirst for glory, libertine noblemen seek to conquer the (...)
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  48. added 2020-01-07
    Jealousy and the Sense of Self: Unamuno and the Contemporary Philosophy of Emotion.Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran - forthcoming - Philosophy and Literature.
    This paper explores jealousy in Unamuno’s drama El otro. Drawing on contemporary philosophy of emotion, I will argue that for the Spanish author jealousy gives the subject a sense of self. The paper begins by embedding Unamuno’s philosophical anthropology in the context of contemporary emotion theory. It then presents the drama as an investigation into the affective dimension of self-identity. The third section offers an analysis of jealousy as an emotion of self-assessment. The final section discusses how this drama can (...)
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  49. added 2020-01-05
    Mary Wilkins Freeman’s “Louisa” and the Problem of Female Choice.Judith P. Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (2):466-481.
    In her 1890 short story “Louisa,” Mary Wilkins Freeman explores nepotistic interference with female mate selection. Twenty-five-year-old Louisa Britton is pressured by her mother to marry against her inclinations, that is, to accept a suitor whom she does not “like.”1 The focal point of Freeman’s plot is the ensuing mother-daughter conflict, an evolutionarily significant issue that invites readers to consider the questions it raises in larger terms: What motivates parents to interfere with a daughter’s mating decisions? Is a parent’s assessment (...)
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  50. added 2020-01-05
    Kin Altruism, Spite, And Forgiveness in Pride and Prejudice.Magdalen Ki - 2019 - Philosophy and Literature 43 (1):210-228.
    Mr. Darcy spoke with affectionate praise of his sister's proficiency.I never spoke to you without rather wishing to give you pain than not.Pride and Prejudice has been read in many ways. I argue that this well-known love story not only foregrounds the battle of the sexes but also places center stage the pros and cons of different types of family systems and reciprocal altruism. Humans have long evolved to become homo familiaris. In its Latin origin, the word family does not (...)
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