Queen's University

PHIL 271/3.0 Philosophy and Literature

This course explores the philosophical question: what is literature? It offers a broad introduction to the philosophical issues associated with literature, and various literary forms; such as: literature as art, the nature of fiction, imagination, and narrative, the emotional response to literature, and the aesthetic and ethical value of literature.

Significantly, it will also explore the role and relevance of literature to philosophy; that is, reflecting on questions surrounding philosophy as literature and/or literature as philosophy. Students will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of literary forms, types, and traditions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Develop and defend a response to the question ‘what is literature?’
  • Explain and analyse key philosophical questions of literature and associated genres.
  • Analyse and evaluate the nature and role of emotional engagement with various aspects of literary works.
  • Critically assess what constitutes relevant and appropriate aesthetic and/or moral judgements of literature.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Potential examples of Experiential Learning for this new course are that students will meet with literary authors who produce philosophical literature and/or philosophers who produce literature; along with students producing their own philosophical literature. This is an opportunity for students to directly experience and reflect on the practical creation of literature (as literature, and as philosophy), and how the philosophical theory discussed in the course relates to these practices.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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