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  1. The Fire-Walking Antigone.W. Allen Timothy - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):12-23.
    Students in the humanities have found Antigone intriguing ever since she was cast as the focal character in Sophocles's much contemplated tragedy. Antigone is enigmatic, to be sure; until comparatively recently, most interpretations of her focused on her role in the context of the tragic series of events unfolding in the play. These accounts relied heavily on her portrayal by Hegel, as representing the prepolitical ties of kinship coming into conflict with the ascending authority of the state.Richer life was breathed (...)
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  2. Is Clarissa Dalloway Special?R. Lanier Anderson - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):233-271.
    My title question has something of the feel of a book club discussion starter, but it has further-reaching implications for understanding Mrs. Dalloway than might first appear. Consider two more mainstream interpretive questions. First, Virginia Woolf's novel places extensive cognitive and aesthetic demands on its readers and thereby participates in the famous "difficulty" of much high-modernist literature. Any interpretation should explain why Woolf thought such a challenge to the capacities and expectations of the reader was necessary or conducive to her (...)
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  3.  3
    Knowledge of People.Humberto Brito - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):207-214.
    Philosophers such as Elizabeth Anscombe and Donald Davidson have explained that we cannot derive predictions from judgments such as "he boasted from vanity." Such judgments are also the source of countless painful mistakes. However, are they necessarily unreliable? Often enough, even if only gradually and partially, we get people right. Assuming that we do is already assuming that there must be a connection, if not causal then at least casual, between what a person is, what she does, and how she (...)
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  4.  1
    The Lurking Class: From Parasocial Postal Clerks to Hypersocial Vloggers.Eric Bronson - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):16-30.
    Before becoming an internationally renowned sadhu espousing words of wisdom in an Indian forest, Sampath Chawla pulls down his pants. The wedding guests are horrified. His supervisor at the small-town post office fires him on the spot—it is, after all, his daughter's wedding.In Kiran Desai's novel Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, the oafish Sampath probably shouldn't have been invited to the wedding in the first place. At the post office he has been sulking for some time. "The post office. The (...)
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  5. Ovid's Myth of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.Ciraulo Darlena - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):95-108.
    Act 4, scene 1 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream opens with the amorous dialogue between Titania and her newly beloved Nick Bottom. In a show of immoderate attention to one of the "hempen home-spuns,"1 Titania's affectionate imperatives add to the scene's dramatic irony: "Come, sit thee down upon this flow'ry bed / While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, / And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, / And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy". Titania's pursuit (...)
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  6.  2
    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.  1
    Borges Scoops Gettier.M. DeVries Scott - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):288-302.
    In 1963, Edmund Gettier wrote a short paper that appeared in the journal Analysis where he demonstrated that justified, true belief defined as knowledge does not obtain. Formally, the argument is that it is not the case that: S knows that P iff P is true, S believes that P, and S is justified in believing that P.1 S knows that P iffP is true,S believes that P, andS is justified in believing that P.1The critique of the definition has to (...)
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  8.  2
    Sartre and Koestler: Bisociation, Nothingness, and the Creative Experience in Roth's The Anatomy Lesson.James Duban - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):55-69.
    For my son NathanielRecent studies suggest that Philip Roth's creative impulse is in some measure indebted to Arthur Koestler's Insight and Outlook and to Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness.1 Koestler advances a theory of "bisociative" thinking—that is, the perception of consonance amidst the clash of seemingly dissonant planes of knowledge. The theme finds expression in the very title of Koestler's book, given the compatibility, despite opposite root prepositions, of such words as "in sight" and "out look." Insofar as Roth's narrator (...)
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  9. Rethinking Shakespeare.E. Cain William - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):40-59.
    I am not certain that I know what I am trying to describe or how to identify it. It is something that happens or perhaps does not happen in Shakespeare's characters, something about how they think, in particular how they think or do not think at a critical moment of decision or change. I am referring to Shakespeare's policy and practice of conspicuous omission, calculated evasion, silent avoidance—to something that Shakespeare does not give us, a reticence or restraint about the (...)
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  10. On Sincere Apologies: Saying "Sorry" in Hamlet.Escobedo Andrew - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):155-177.
    Consider two infelicitous apologies from modern American public life. The first comes from the former boxer Mike Tyson, who in 1997 bit off part of his opponent Evander Holyfield's ear in a match. He offered a public apology shortly thereafter: "Evander, I am sorry. You are a champion and I respect that. I am only saddened that this fight did not go further so that the boxing fans of the world might see for themselves who would come out on top. (...)
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  11. Nothingness in Donne's "A Valediction: Of Weeping" and Shakespeare's Cymbeline.L. Estrin Barbara - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):60-75.
    "Nothingness lies coiled in the heart of being like a worm."The John Donne of "A Valediction: Of Weeping" prefers the picture to the real. For Donne and for Jean-Paul Sartre, with whom he is aligned in this essay, the preference principally involves issues of control. As Sartre writes, "It's not enough that a certain picture which I have in mind should exist; it is necessary as well that it exist through me."1 While the more conventional predilection for the virtual over (...)
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  12.  2
    What George Eliot of Middlemarch Could Have Taught Spinoza.Brian Fay - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):119-135.
    That George Eliot was deeply interested in Spinoza is well known. She translated part of Benedict de Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus as early as 1842, and completed a full translation of the Ethics by 1856. This might lead one to think that in her novels, Eliot applied the insights of Spinoza by showing them at work in the lives of her characters. Indeed, a number of commentators have made this assumption in depicting the relationship between Eliot and Spinoza.1 Other commentators have (...)
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  13. In Search of Lost Time and the Attunement of Jealousy.Ferguson Rex - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):213-232.
    Proust reminds us many times in the pages of In Search of Lost Time that there is no such thing as a singular or unchanging self.1 When viewing the novel as a whole, this point is most evident in the journey of Marcel, the narrator, who has to become a myriad of Marcels before he reaches the library of the Guermantes and the discovery of what he must write about. But the theme is also prevalent in a more intimate reading (...)
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  14. Ethical Pluralism and Moral Conflict in Aeschylus's Oresteia.Frits Gåvertsson - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):24-39.
    It might seem as if the Weltbild1 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.2 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. However, Helm's reading—which ascribes to Aeschylus a motive-based account that ultimately construes the virtuous individual as properly understanding her relationship (...)
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  15.  1
    The Long Revenge of Zobel Blake.Glage A. Joachim - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):215-229.
    Pessimism distilled: Happiness is possible, but evil; unhappiness is likely, but futile.Very little is known of the bastard called Zobel Blake. We know he is the only person of record, bastard or otherwise, ever to be called by that name, and that his primary claim to historical significance lies in the fact that he was the very last man to languish to his death in an American debtors' prison. That such a distinction should befall an otherwise obscure man is not (...)
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  16.  2
    Uses of Hamartia, Flaw, and Irony in Oedipus Tyrannus and King Lear.Roy Glassberg - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):201-206.
    Jules Brody argues that Aristotle's usage of hamartia in The Poetics is best understood in terms of its literal meaning, "missing the mark," rather than in the broader, familiar sense of "tragic flaw." Hamartia is a morally neutral non-normative term, derived from the verb hamartano, meaning "to miss the mark," "to fall short of an objective." And by extension: to reach one destination rather than the intended one; to make a mistake, not in the sense of a moral failure, but (...)
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  17. Introduction: Not "Of," "As," or "And," but "In".Garry L. Hagberg - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):v-v.
    The philosophy of literature, a topic on which we publish numerous articles, concerns what we at the journal take to be engaging and interestingly intricate issues; these include the ontology of fictional characters and the precise nature of our emotional responses to fiction. Philosophy as literature, although we perhaps publish fewer works of this kind, considers philosophical writing from a literary standpoint; issues here include the varying stylistics of philosophical writing over the ages and the role of figurative or metaphorical (...)
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  18. The First Trial of Socrates.George T. Hole - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):1-15.
    Before the Apology trial by five hundred of his fellow Athenians, Socrates is put on trial by a close associate, Alcibiades, in the Symposium. The first trial prefigures or echoes the second, famous one. The speeches on love that precede the entrance of Alcibiades, especially Socrates's speech—in which he discloses instructions on love given to him by Diotima—is the basis on which Socrates should be judged. Because the jury for this trial does not render a verdict, I assume the role (...)
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  19. Tyranny and Blood: Rethinking Creon.Nancy J. Holland - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):1-11.
    This is certainly true for every translation, because every translation must necessarily accomplish the transition of the spirit of one language into that of another.We all know who and what Creon was. He was a tyrant—a proto-Nazi, according to French playwright Jean Anouilh. He was not even the same person in Sophocles's three Theban plays, according to translator H. D. F. Kitto.2 He was Antigone's uncle, her mother's brother. He was a symbol of the transition from a "rule of tradition" (...)
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  20. Levels of Literary Meaning.Søren Harnow Klausen - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):70-90.
    Intentionalism, it has been remarked, just won't go away.1 The idea that the meaning of a literary work is determined by the intentions of its author remains appealing and deeply entrenched in most people's thinking,2 in spite of ever-new waves of resistance. I do not wish to resume the discussion of the overall plausibility of intentionalism. Nor will I take a stand in the discussion of its different varieties, like actual versus hypothetical intentionalism.3 My interest lies in exploring the different (...)
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  21.  2
    Hushed Resolve, Reticence, and Rape In J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace.LeBlanc Mary - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):158-168.
    The most disturbing gift that Disgrace presents to its readers is the hushed resolve with which Lucy Lurie emerges from her rape to reaffirm her way of life. To consider that way of life, the reader is first invited to align oneself with David Lurie's initial normative reading of his daughter's rape; but then, in a second important step, to join in the change of mind by which David overcomes this initial blindness. Imagine what accepting the invitation to take both (...)
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  22. Borges's Love Affair with Heraclitus.J. H. Lesher - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):303-314.
    In an early poem, "Year's End", Jorge Luis Borges takes the turning of the year as an occasion to consider how "something in us" endures, despite the fact that we are products of "infinite random possibilities" and "droplets in the stream of Heraclitus": It is not the emblematic detail of replacing a two with a three, nor that barren metaphor that brings together a time that dies and another coming up nor yet the rounding out of some astronomical process that (...)
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  23. Motherhood in Ferrante's The Lost Daughter: A Case Study of Irony as Extraordinary Reflection.Melissa Mcbay Merritt - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):185-200.
    In A Case for Irony, Jonathan Lear aims to advance “a distinguished philosophical tradition that conceives of humanity as a task” by returning this tradition to the ironic figure at its origin — Socrates. But he is hampered by his reliance on well-worn philosophical examples. I suggest that Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter illustrates the mode of ironic experience that interests Lear, and helps us to think through his relation to Christine Korsgaard, arguably the greatest contemporary proponent of the philosophical (...)
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  24. Prologues and the Idols of Criticism: Borges on Ficciones.Nicholas D. More - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):272-287.
    I am given to understand that the days of prefaces are now quite over, and those who still care to read such things—or even write them—a despised minority.Ficciones has basked in the sun of critical attention for many years now, and its reflective radiance shows little sign of waning. The collection by Jorge Luis Borges consists of nineteen short works that pose as stories or fables or hypotheses or exercises or fantasies or intellectual experiments. During an interview with Philosophy and (...)
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  25. Borges and Levinas Face-to-Face: Writing and the Riddle of Subjectivity.Shlomy Mualem - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):315-343.
    One fine day, Hermann Sörgel receives the complete memory of William Shakespeare. A scholar who has devoted his life to studying the bard's works, the professor understands that he has been given a priceless treasure. With the key to understanding the poet's consciousness in his hand, he will be able to perfectly interpret all his writings. Gradually, Shakespeare's memories are being absorbed into his mind. He is surprised to realize, however, that possession of the bard's memory has only given him (...)
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  26. Gods and Children: Shakespeare Reads The Prince.Nowak Piotr - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):109-127.
    It is necessary for a prince to understand how to avail himself of the beast and the man.Having taken the Romagna in 1502, Cesare Borgia, the Italian nobleman and model for Machiavelli's political treatise The Prince, soon learned how unruly the newly acquired province was. Armed robbery, theft, impudent nepotism, imprecise law, and the racket made by the rebellious common people—all of this demanded the introduction of some kind of order. Messer Ramiro d'Orco, a thirtysomething, dynamic, decisive, resolute, and morally (...)
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  27. Art World: Grudger, Sucker, Cheat.Christopher Perricone - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):31-44.
    A picture lives by companionship.In Art as Experience, John Dewey is clear that art, like life, goes on in an environment—or, more emphatically, art, like life, goes on "not merely in it but because of it, through interaction with it.... The career and destiny of a living being are bound up with its interchange with its environment, not externally but in the most intimate way."2 Later, Dewey says: "The word 'esthetic' refers, as we have already noted, to experience as appreciative, (...)
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  28. Thinking About Judgment with Shakespeare.Robert B. Pierce - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):142-154.
    What sort of thing is judgment?1 Looking at the sense of "judgment" as a human capacity as opposed to the result of exercising that capacity, whether in ordinary behavior or in some legal or political framework, I intend to offer a definition proposal for the term and then to discuss how judgment so defined operates in human behavior, what constitutes good judgment, whether it can be cultivated, and, if so, how. The example I will focus on is drawn from Shakespeare's (...)
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  29. Dionysus in the Mirror: Hamlet as Nietzsche's Dionysian Man.Pyles Timothy - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):128-141.
    The play's the thing,"1 Hamlet says in act 2, scene 2 of Shakespeare's finest tragedy. Hamlet is referring here to the forthcoming performance of The Mousetrap, the play that he has asked the newly arrived players to perform that evening in the presence of his mother and uncle. "The play's the thing," Hamlet says, "Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King". But it is not confirmation of his uncle's guilt as the murderer of his father that Hamlet really needs (...)
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  30.  4
    Engaging the World: Writing, Imagination, and Enactivism.Ian Ravenscroft - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):45-54.
    I have rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.A pen is a machine to think with.The writer engages the world not only by living in and reflecting it but also by two dynamic processes, one sensory/motor, the other social. The former involves cycles of writing, reading what has been written, responding to it, and writing again; the latter involves writing, reading to an audience, responding to their reactions, and writing again. Dynamic processes involving brain (...)
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  31. Irony and Cognitive Empathy in Chrétien de Troyes's Gettier Problem.Brian J. Reilly - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):169-184.
    The relations of comparison and contrast among the viewpoints of characters and between the viewpoints of authors and characters is one of the most important dimensions of meaning in literary texts.... It is for this reason that the analysis of irony, as a central tonal medium for registering differences in point of view, occupies a position of singular importance in the interpretation of literary meaning.Irony stings. Among friends it might be playful, its target joining in the fun. But it is (...)
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  32. 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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  33. Fearless?: Peter Weir, The Sage, and the Fragility of Goodness.Matthew Sharpe - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):136-157.
    Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders? And even if one were to suddenly take me to its heart, I would vanish into its stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear, and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us...."So what are you telling me, there's no God, but there's you?"Peter Weir's film Fearless appeared in 1993 to critical acclaim and middling (...)
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  34. Jane Austen's Aristotelian Proposal: Sometimes Falling in Love Is Better Than a Beating.Stackle Erin - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):195-212.
    Aristotle wrote his Nicomachean Ethics as a rational guide to virtuous activity for those people who have been well brought up and are interested in improving themselves.1 For the rest of us, Aristotle suggests that beating is the only solution. In this essay, I shall first use Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, supplemented by Plato's Gorgias, to provide a defense of beating as a way to intrude concerns of character conversion upon the attention of people impervious to argument. Closer analysis, though, shows (...)
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  35. The Natural Rights Exerted in Shakespeare's Bed-Tricks.David Strong - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):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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  36. Jane Austen on Practical Wisdom, Constancy, and Unreserve.Christopher Toner - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):178-194.
    A central, if controversial, Aristotelian claim is that the virtues are connected—that practical wisdom depends upon moral virtue, and moral virtue upon practical wisdom. If those who see Jane Austen's portrayal of the moral life as broadly Aristotelian1 are right, we should expect to see such a dependence shown in Austen's novels. I will argue that we can indeed find portrayed a dependence of wisdom upon character, and in particular upon the virtues Austen calls constancy and unreserve. These two are (...)
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  37.  1
    Love as Communication: A Short, Redacted Argument From the Phaedrus.Zhu Rui - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41 (1):230-231.
    οὕτω τὸ τοῦ κάλλους ῥεῦμα πάλιν εἰς τὸν καλὸν διὰ τῶν ὀμμάτων...
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