The Apathetic Fallacy
Abstract

The "apathetic fallacy" dominates literary criticism: to make critical inquiry "epistemologically objective" (rational and disinterested) literary critics have mistakenly tried to restrict their study to that which is "ontologically objective" (not a matter of subjective reality). Absurdity results, particularly when, because of a combination of New Critical orthodoxy, and cherry-picked psychoanalytic concepts, intentional meaning is denigrated as "merely" subjective. Fredric Jameson's account of postmodernism is a case-study in such absurdity; further folly can be avoided only by a disciplinary audit that purges literary inquiry of the "apathetic fallacy."


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