Philosophy and Literature (CLASSICS 42, COMPLIT 181, ENGLISH 81, FRENCH 181, GERMAN 181, PHIL 81, SLAVIC 181)
Required gateway course for Philosophical and Literary Thought; crosslisted in departments sponsoring the Philosophy and Literature track. Majors should register in their home department; non-majors may register in any sponsoring department. Introduction to major problems at the intersection of philosophy and literature, with particular focus on the question of value: what, if anything, does engagement with literary works do for our lives? Issues include aesthetic self-fashioning, the paradox of tragedy, the paradox of caring, the truth-value of fiction, metaphor, authorship, irony, make-believe, expression, edification, clarification, and training. Readings are drawn from literature and film, philosophical theories of art, and stylistically interesting works of philosophy. Authors may include Sophocles, Chaucer, Dickinson, Proust, Woolf, Borges, Beckett, Kundera, Charlie Kaufman; Barthes, Foucault, Nussbaum, Walton, Nehamas; Plato, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Sartre. Taught in English.