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Philosophy and the Novel - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Philosophy and the Novel

Alan H. Goldman


Part 1, Philosophy of Novels, defends theories of literary value and interpretation. Literary value, the value of literary works as such, is a species of aesthetic value. Works have aesthetic value when they simultaneously engage all our mental capacities: perceptual, cognitive, imaginative, and emotional. This view contrasts with now prevalent narrower formalist views of literary value. According to it, cognitive engagement with novels includes appreciation of their broad themes and the theses these imply, often moral and hence philosophical theses, which are therefore part of the novels’ lit ... More

Keywords: literary value, interpretation, cognitive engagement with novels, moral themes, moral agency

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199674459
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674459.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alan H. Goldman, author
College of William and Mary