- Edmondson Hall C112
- Days and Times
- M/W 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., 3 credits
- Course Description
This course explores a range of topics at the intersection of philosophy and literature, all of which are related to the question of what it would mean to pursue a philosophical problem through fiction. We will begin by reading some classics of both philosophy (Plato, Descartes, and others) and literature (Tolstoy, Munro, and others), with a view to getting clear on what the goals of each discipline are, how they conceive of themselves, and the extent to which these self-conceptions are compatible. Next, we will turn to a central debate in the philosophy of literature, concerning the so-called cognitive value of fiction: can we learn truths about the actual world by reading about events that take place in fictional ones? Finally, we will study a collection of pieces that blur the line between philosophy and fiction, including short stories by Ted Chiang and Jorge Luis Borges.
Instructor: Jake Walerius
Selected by Board of Educational Programming (BOEP)