By Tzachi Zamir

ISBN-10: 0691125635

ISBN-13: 9780691125633

Hamlet tells Horatio that there are extra issues in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy. In Double imaginative and prescient , thinker and literary critic Tzachi Zamir argues that there are extra issues in Hamlet than are dreamt of--or not less than conceded--by such a lot philosophers. Making an unique and persuasive case for the philosophical price of literature, Zamir means that definite vital philosophical insights should be won in basic terms via literature. yet such insights can't be reached if literature is deployed only as a cultured sugaring of a conceptual tablet. Philosophical wisdom isn't against, yet is consonant with, the literariness of literature. through targeting the event of studying literature as literature and never philosophy, Zamir units a theoretical framework for a philosophically orientated literary feedback that might attraction either to philosophers and literary critics.

Double imaginative and prescient is worried with the philosophical figuring out prompted through the cultured adventure of literature. Literary works can functionality as credible philosophical arguments--not ones during which claims are conclusively validated, yet within which claims are made believable. Such claims, Zamir argues, are embedded inside of an experiential constitution that's itself a vital measurement of figuring out. constructing an account of literature's relation to wisdom, morality, and rhetoric, and advancing philosophical-literary readings of Richard III, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet , and King Lear , Zamir exhibits how his method can open up primary texts in excellent and worthwhile ways.

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But it is a distinct and comprehensive outlook that has haunted philosophy from its inception, rather than some limited corrective to contemporary moral reasoning that happened to emerge in the last two decades. What is at stake is not merely how literature contributes to moral understanding and action but the possibility and desirability of “rigorous” thinking when one puts one’s life through an intellectual prism; or the possibility and desirability of penetrating beyond appearances; or the possibility and desirability of tapping into claims whose truth value is supposed to reside not in actual or potential agreement but in some transhuman relation; or the possibility and desirability of isolating a mode of credible thought that hovers above other mental processes that are castigated and reduced to the level of mere persuasion-enhancing (rather than genuinely justificatory) devices.

My own guess as to the reason for this is that people tend to accept the superficial empiricist reply to Plato according to which we simply have “an ability” (a notion that usually remains unanalyzed) enabling us to pick out correct articulating patterns (the classical empiricists’ reply to Plato was to replace an ontology of forms with an ontology of abilities). The source of the superficiality of this reply is that abilities presuppose knowledge. The initial questions that led Plato to suggest innate essences in the first place will thus simply be reformulated as a need to understand the kind of knowledge that “enables picking out” these defining essentials.

This is an old idea in rhetorical Humean accounts argue that cognizing what one ought to be doing is never enough for the purpose of forming genuine moral motivation. 6 Sidney’s Apology for Poetry includes this cognitive side of the argument for the moral contribution of literature, speaking of the “true lively knowledge” that poetry gives relative to the bony language of philosophy (1941, 17). 7 Developing moral reasoning (or, in some interpretations, developing “character”) requires the rhetorical capacities of literary works that are able to implant believable, enduring, “talking” voices as part of the company one keeps.

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Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama by Tzachi Zamir

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