The Literary Philosophical
The BNWP is very happy to invite you to our third seminar at Landmark with a talk given by Carlota Salvador Megias.
In the public imagination, philosophy is an academic discipline that tackles difficult technical questions about the nature of our world, or an activity by which we ask ourselves if we’re living the sort of life we truly value. Both conceptions lend themselves to distinct kinds of texts and distinct approaches to those texts: Articles that require years of training in intellectual history and philosophical method to truly understand, or canonical works by which the reader consciously reflects upon her own thoughts and experiences (Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus, and Emerson’s essays come to mind).
This talk will look at a genre of philosophy that bridges -- and transcends -- these categories. Literary philosophical presentations -- ranging from Camus’ The Plague, Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, Plato’s Symposium, and even Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations -- ask of the casual and academic reader a very different form of engagement than the standard academic article or explicitly edifying text. What are this genre’s (intellectual, aesthetic) advantages? What responses, readings, and derivative works do such texts inspire? When is it an indelible aspect of the presentation of a philosophical idea as opposed to mere gimmick? I will sketch some answers to these questions alongside a specific reading of Camus’ The Stranger.