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Jane Austen's EmmaPhilosophical Perspectives$
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E.M. Dadlez

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190689414

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190689414.001.0001

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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: 08 December 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Jane Austen's Emma
Author(s):

E. M. Dadlez

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190689414.003.0001

The introduction has three informal parts. First, it addresses arguments in defense of the claim that literary works can yield philosophical insights. Novels may, some maintain, function as informal thought experiments, such as intuition pumps and variant case arguments. It reflects as well on claims that fictional narratives may be thought to foster interpretive, discriminative, and empathetic dispositions and capacities. Second, it offers descriptions of the eight chapters of the volume, focusing in particular on the contributions made by each to philosophical discourse. Third, it addresses a widespread (and erroneous) stance discounting Austen as a purveyor of philosophical and other insights on the ground of triviality or narrowness of scope. It is the very narrowness of Austen’s scope, her relentless focus on the everyday, that provides a spotlight on all the minutia of motive and decision and self-deception that so often supply material for philosophical speculation.

Keywords:   thought experiment, literature, philosophy, narrative, empathy, Austen

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