[MaFLa] invitation to a talk on Bringing literature back into the philosophy of literature by Wolfgang Huemer - Tuesday, 9 February, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412

Krisztina Biber Biberk at ceu.edu
Thu Feb 4 15:46:01 CET 2016

The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
(as part of its Departmental Colloquium series)
Wolfgang Huemer (Università di Parma)
Bringing literature back into the philosophy of literature
Tuesday, 9 February 2016, 5.30 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
Judging from the amount of recent publications, in particular that of readers, textbooks, handbooks, and companions, it seems save to say that the philosophy of literature is about to become a self-standing philosophical discipline. Yet, the way the debate is structured unveils that this discipline – at least in its contemporary, analytic form – is still deeply rooted in other philosophical disciplines, as problems that are relevant to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, or epistemology are often at the centre of attention. In consequence, we often find a very single-sided selection of literary texts mentioned and a focus on problems that are relevant to fiction rather than literature.
In my paper I will begin with the commonplace that the terms "fiction" and "literature" are not synonyms, nor are they co-referential. Highlighting on the differences between the two terms I will suggest that even when we talk about works of fictional, narrative literature they refer to very different aspects of the respective works. My aim is to show that some of the central discussions in this young discipline, the philosophy of literature, could take very different – and more fruitful – forms if we would pay more attention to the poetic function of literary language than to its referential function. I will illustrate this point by showing how this move could enlighten the debate concerning the cognitive value of literature, which in its actual form often suffers from taking a specific model of language (the "referential picture") and of cognitive progress for granted.

Krisztina Biber
Department of Philosophy 

Central European University
Nador u. 9. | 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Office: + 36.1.327.3806 | biberk at ceu.hu | www.ceu.hu 
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