The Philosophy of Literature – The Intentional Subject

Event Date: 23 February 2011, 17:00 – 19:00
Win1-04, Windsor Building 
Royal Holloway University


The Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC)
at Royal Holloway University of London presents:

The Philosophy of Literature


Organiser: Professor John O’Brien

During the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, the characteristics of the philosophical approach to literature have undergone some important changes. Alongside the continuation of the traditions of Continental thought, representatively symbolized by the work of Badiou and Rancière, can be detected a move back to elements that were challenged 40 years ago by the generation of Barthes, Lacan, Foucault and Derrida. The death of the author is now being countered by the notion of the author as intentional subject; the disconnection between life and art-work is giving way to a new interest in biography; the notion of the self-contained work of art, or of art-as-textuality, is being displaced in favour of a view of literary language as a hard-wired element of human cognition. From Marion’s version of phenomenology to Currie’s Arts and Minds, the philosophy that might underlie literature is being re-appraised.

Session 1: The Intentional Subject

  • Introduction: Professor John O’Brien
  • Professor Andrew Bowie (Philosophy)
  • Professor Dan Rebellato (Drama)





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