Literature, Philosophy Of - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Literature, Philosophy Of

The concepts of fiction and of literature are distinct. On the one hand, there are nonfictional literary works—essays, memoirs, biographies, histories, writings about nature, and even philosophy. Perhaps we should also include some letter collections, diaries, and journals. On the other, there are nonliterary fictions both within and apart from the world of art. Cinema is full of fictional stories. Paintings represent fictional scenes. Advertising, whatever the medium it employs, often presents us with fictions. However, the concepts of fiction and literature are intertwined.

The paradigmatic literary works have steadily drifted toward being exclusively works of fiction: novels, stories, poems, and plays. When David Hume wanted to make his mark as a man of letters, he chose history and philosophy as his media. By comparison, Jean Paul Sartre made his literary mark with novels and plays while establishing his reputation as a...

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This section contains 6,222 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Literature, Philosophy Of Encyclopedia Article
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Literature, Philosophy Of from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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