Republic of Readers?

The Literary Turn in Political Thought and Analysis

Simon Stow
eISBN-13: 9780791480199

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2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

What is the proper role for literature in political thought and analysis? Can reading novels make us better citizens of a liberal democratic society? What is the status of argument and reason in an academy dominated by readings and redescriptions? Simon Stow identifies a potentially detrimental literary turn in the contemporary academy, arguing that the study of literature and the study of politics have become somewhat indistinguishable enterprises. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, Terry Eagleton, Martha Nussbaum, and Richard Rorty, he examines the problematic claims, circular reasoning, and misplaced assumptions that underpin this disciplinary merging, and seeks to defend political philosophy and social science against the rival claims of literature and literary criticism as sources of political insight and construction.

ISBNs 9780791470893, 0791480194, 9780791480199
Language English