Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dostoevsky's Crime and PunishmentPhilosophical Perspectives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Guay

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190464011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190464011.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Crime and Expression

Crime and Expression

Dostoevsky on the Nature of Agency

(p.70) Chapter 3 Crime and Expression
Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

Robert Guay

Oxford University Press

In this chapter I argue that the narrative of Crime and Punishment somewhat inadvertently functions as an extended commentary on the nature of agency. My claim, that is, is that each of Dostoevsky’s characters, including Raskolnikov at various points in time, represents a plausible approach to understanding the ways in which an agent relates to his deeds. Dostoevsky dramatizes these relations as ending in sometimes spectacular failures, with the result that narrative events become difficult to characterize in intentional terms. Raskolnikov, oddly, switches among all these forms of relationship, but does not arrive at a satisfactory connection to his actions until he is able to recognize himself in his deeds. The drama of Crime and Punishment thus functions as an argument for treating agency as expressive, and so a matter of realizing in the world deeds that are rationally responsive and adequate to one’s own understanding of them.

Keywords:   agency, action, Dostoevsky, expressivism, Raskolnikov

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .