Literature and Truth

Imaginative Writing as a Medium for Ideas


In Literature and Truth Richard Lansdown continues a discussion concerning the truth-bearing status of imaginative literature that pre-dates Plato. The book opens with a general survey of contemporary approaches in philosophical aesthetics, and a discussion of the contribution to the question made by British philosopher R. G. Collingwood in particular, in his Speculum Mentis. It then offers six case-studies from the Romantic era to the contemporary one as to how imaginative authors have variously dealt with bodies of discursive thought such as Stoicism, Christianity, evolution, humanism, and socialism. It concludes with a reading going in the other direction, in which the diary of Bronislaw Malinowski is seen in terms of the anthropologist’s reading habits during his legendary Trobriander fieldwork.
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Biographical Note

Richard Lansdown, Ph.D. (1989), University College London, is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Groningen. He has published numerous books and articles on English Romantic literature, as well as The Autonomy of Literature (2001).


Undergraduate students, postgraduate students and faculty with an interest in the theory of literature, in particular issues of cognition and truth also discussed by philosophers in the field of aesthetics.