London Aesthetics Forum

London Aesthetics Forum
19 June 2019, 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Conceptual Knowledge in Literature

Catrin Misselhorn (University of Göttingen)


The claim that literature has conceptual content might at  first glance appear trivial: Literary texts are composed of sentences  which are built from concepts. Therefore, literature seems to be  conceptual all the way down. This kind of conceptual content is,  however, not specific to literature. The focus of this talk is a kind of  conceptual content that is specific to literature as literature. It will  be argued that this kind of conceptual content provides the reader with  a specific kind of conceptual knowledge. This kind of conceptual  knowledge is one of the things we appreciate in literature as  literature. This view will be developed by a close reading of Robert  Musil's short story "The Perfecting of a Love." Since philosophy is the  discipline that claims to provide conceptual knowledge par excellence, a  comparison of conceptual knowledge in philosophy and literature will  conclude the talk.


The London Aesthetics Forum (LAF) is a Forum of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. With lectures on topics in aesthetics and philosophy of art, LAF aims to stimulate philosophical reflection on art. Our events are free and open to all.

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