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The Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary and Classic Readings - An Anthology Paperback – Illustrated, Feb 13 2004

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (Feb. 13 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405112085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405112086
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 2.7 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This collection provides an ideal introduction to the issues that draw analytic philosophers to literature. It brings together an extraordinary array of the most vital, influential, and sophisticated essays published by philosophers of literature in the past three decades." Stephen Davies, University of Auckland <!--end-->

"These essays, taken together, constitute a serious and probing exploration of several of the most fundamental philosophical puzzles about literature. They are also accessible, engaging, and frequently a lot of fun. A superb collection!" Kendall Walton, University of Michigan

Book Description

Forty-five essential readings in the philosophy of literature are brought together for the first time in this anthology to provide a balanced and coherent overview of developments in the field during the past 30 years. They include substantial and carefully chosen essays and extracts which highlight influential work on fiction, emotion, interpretation, metaphor, literary value, and the definition and ontology of literature. An additional historical section features generous selections of the writings of early pioneers such as Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Hume. This authoritative volume offers a handy compilation of contributions to the field by its leading figures. It is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the philosophy of literature or the philosophy of art.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
no page numbers in the text book== when i was in lecture session with this text book and the prof said page 10, then continue reading the passage in his weird accent...this ebook was essentially useless to me. waste of money. and when i had to cite this book for my paper..no page numbers. how can i cite? if u r buying this book for school. DONT. shud have just paid a few bucks more for a hard copy in my schools book store. very disappointed
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa36e0b88) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa379b75c) out of 5 stars Intelligently Edited May 1 2012
By S P - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose you can't please everyone, but this anthology provides a good overview of the field. The essays chosen for inclusion are thoughtful and varied. Just take a look through the table of contents and you'll understand its breadth. Its first chapter pays homage to some classical thinkers and their works. Its a respectful gesture that proves the enduring importance of works like The Republic, written in another context and before the style of modern academia came into its own. The next chapters deal with how we define and classify literature. More focused segments on the components of literature itself follow. The collection manages to maintain coherence and focus, so you feel the works were chosen intentionally. Best of all, the texts are condensed to be more focused and straightforward. It's a gift to be able to actually get through a piece in one sitting. The end result is that you can cover a variety of subjects and navigate adjacencies as you please. The goal of philosophy instruction, as I see it, should be to encourage exploration. This book allow that, meanwhile giving students a working knowledge of notable theorists and their works.

It's also a rather significant volume, with a great deal of different texts. I could see it being used as a catch-all reference for beginning and intermediate students of the field. It gives you the foundation you need to advance to more specialized books related to your interest or academic focus. Since it's clearly marketed as an anthology, I am not going to insult the editors by pointing out minutia I would have liked to seen included. Frankly, I am nowhere near the level of expertise necessary to do so. I would prefer a general overview to obscure and narrowly-targeted pieces that were frankly never intended for mass audiences, and woud lose their intricacy if given a fleeting treatment.

The font is readable and definitely aided by the two-column layout. Once again, the presentational approach foregrounds the content and gives it the attention it deserves. The book, because of its readability and core value, has deepened my interest in the field. I see reason for average people - especially those who value the arts in their daily lives - to pick this one up. It's thorough and comprehensive. It begs important questions about fiction, characterization, criticism, and more. Take a look, and think critically about what you read - in this volume, and everywhere else.
8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa329ab64) out of 5 stars does not cover the whole field May 14 2005
By bookloversfriend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The size of this book and the subtitle give the impression that this book covers the whole field. It doesn't. This hodgepodge of Ordinary Language and other approaches to the philosophy of literature is not the whole picture. See "A Book Worth Reading" for a different and systematic approach to this new branch of philosophy.

The articles in this anthology are almost all by philosophers who have only a passing knowledge of literature. The results are sophistic and at time sophomoric.

Missing also are some famous contributions to the field, such as Sartre's What is Literature? a book which raises some serious problems for literature. Also, the work of John M. Ellis.

If you can afford it, buy all four books. If not, you're better off with A Book Worth Reading.