What role can literature play in philosophical reflection about the good life? Does moral philosophy need reference to literature. Philosophy, Literature and the Human Good is a clear and interesting interpretation of the elements of Literature that key philosophers from the analytic and continental traditions are often concerned with. Michael Weston examines the role of literature in philosophical reflection about the significance of life which addresses both the European 'Post-Nietzschean' tradition and the increasing importance of these issues for major American and British thinkers. The book initiates a dialogue between these traditions and outlines their central connections and differences. In particular, Weston carefully examines via key readings of these thinkers whether literature can make a positive contribution to ethics. Weston, inspired by Wittgenstein concludes that because by nature we are linguistic beings, there is no way of arriving at a comprehensive theory of the good.
Each chapter concisely describes a philosopher or literary figure who has written about the philosophical significance of literature such as: Bataille, Derrida,and Kierkegaard, contemporary philosophers including Rorty and Nussbaum and writers of fiction such as Murdoch and Blanchot. Ideal for students of Philosophy of literature, Continental Philosophy and Literary Theory, Philosophy, Literature and the Human Good provides an insightful and provocative examination of the philosophical significance of literature.
Michael Weston is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Essex