Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama by Tzachi Zamir

By Tzachi Zamir

Hamlet tells Horatio that there are extra issues in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy. In Double imaginative and prescient , thinker and literary critic Tzachi Zamir argues that there are extra issues in Hamlet than are dreamt of--or not less than conceded--by such a lot philosophers. Making an unique and persuasive case for the philosophical price of literature, Zamir means that yes very important philosophical insights could be won in basic terms via literature. yet such insights can't be reached if literature is deployed purely as a classy sugaring of a conceptual tablet. Philosophical wisdom isn't really against, yet is consonant with, the literariness of literature. via targeting the event of studying literature as literature and never philosophy, Zamir units a theoretical framework for a philosophically orientated literary feedback that might attraction either to philosophers and literary critics.

Double imaginative and prescient is worried with the philosophical figuring out brought on by means of the cultured event of literature. Literary works can functionality as credible philosophical arguments--not ones within which claims are conclusively verified, yet during which claims are made believable. Such claims, Zamir argues, are embedded inside of an experiential constitution that's itself a very important size of understanding. constructing an account of literature's relation to wisdom, morality, and rhetoric, and advancing philosophical-literary readings of Richard III, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet , and King Lear , Zamir exhibits how his strategy can open up known texts in impressive and worthwhile ways.

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Extra info for Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama

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In the next chapter, I will suggest what went wrong in the modern account of rationality, specifically in its rejection of rhetoric. Method Talk of experience brings up questions of method. How do we find out what these experiences are? The following readings will deal with this difficulty in various ways. One possibility is to note the mode in which a literary work operates on the reader (in this case, me). For example, in the essay on Macbeth, I argue that the play creates a growing disconnection from the valueless world of its hero, while establishing a preference for values that other characters exhibit.

In his Apologie for Poetrie (1595), Philip Sidney ridicules the impotence of philosophical fine distinctions when moral motivation is concerned: “For the Philosopher, setting down with thorny argument the bare rule, is so hard of utterance, and so misty to be conceived, that one that hath no other guide but him shall wade in him till he be old before he shall find sufficient cause to be honest . ” (rpt. 1941, 16). Careful perusal of Sidney’s Apology would show that the importing of arguments on behalf of rhetoric’s moral and cognitive import into defenses of literature, a move which I argue above to be at the heart of the literary turn today, already takes place in early-modern England.

These are all, no doubt, modalities of experiential knowing, yet the category is broader. This is why it is misleading to speak of the form perceived as what “gives a shape” to feeling, as C. J. Ducasse does in his account of aesthetic contemplation in The Philosophy of Art. The opposition between feeling and thinking (or, in Ducasse’s own terminology, between an objectification of feeling and an objectification of meaning) is an unnecessary limitation of the complex thought that is actually at work.

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