Philosophy

Language, Truth and Literature

Module code: Q3020
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Dissertation

Drawing on resources from analytical philosophy, continental philosophy and literary theory as well as engaging with particular fictional and poetic works, this module offers a critical investigation into some of the most important issues in the philosophical treatment of literature, narrative and fiction. You consider topics such as: metaphor and metaphorical meaning; the relation between fiction and truth; the logical status of fiction; and intentionality and interpretation. You explore questions such as: what does it tell us about language that something like literature is possible? Is there a type of understanding proper to the understanding of a poem? Why is philosophy troubled by fiction and fictionality?

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of some of the important issues in the philosphical analysis of literature and literary language.
  • Critically examine and evaluate the philosophical work some literary texts might be said to do.
  • Evaluate the complex relations that obtain between literary (poetic and fictional) texts, literary theory, and philosophy.
  • Engage in a close reading of a philosophically informed literary work.