- Editor’s Note
With this issue, Philosophy and Literature enters its thirty-sixth year. As readers may know, Denis Dutton’s courageous battle with cancer ended on December 28, 2010. Anyone who came into contact with Denis knew within seconds that he was a force of nature. Our joint editorship for the past ten years—during which time we produced nineteen issues together—has been an exhilarating ride. Part of the fun—along, of course, with seriousness of purpose—was our occasional but entirely good-natured and constructive disagreement. This, we both thought, was good for the journal in expanding its range and scope. But we always had in common what remains definitive of the journal: we wanted to increase the reach and depth of humanistic scholarship characterized by clarity, insight, rigor, and refinement.
To hold true to these ideals will continue to be central to the next phase of this journal’s life. That means promoting work at the intersection of literary aesthetics and other subareas of philosophy such as philosophy of mind and language, ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and the history of philosophy, as well as other cognate fields such as psychology and cognitive studies, anthropology, sociology, history, film studies, and so forth. And the journal will continue to promote work that has been at the heart of the enterprise from the outset: writing that interweaves philosophy and conceptually engaged literary criticism in such a way that their disciplinary boundaries are transcended.
Readers will find new section headings, some of which appear in this issue: “Creative Directions” (prose and poetry that is philosophically significant but not presented in conventional forms); “Readers’ Responses” (discussions of pieces in earlier issues of the journal); and “In Focus” (three or four articles that zero in on a single, specific topic). [End Page iv]
Philosophy and Literature also has a new look, which begins a series of cover images, designed by Christina Clugston, that are meant to evoke the world of humane learning to which this journal aspires to contribute. The support of Leon Botstein, Michèle D. Dominy, and James Brudvig of Bard College, and Bill Breichner and Myrta Byrum at the Journals Division of Johns Hopkins University Press remains invaluable, as does the meticulous work of Jeanette McDonald and Cynthia Werthamer.
This journal has come a long way from its first slender issue in fall 1976, and with thanks to the many readers and authors who have sustained its progress, I look forward to continuing this collective intellectual adventure. [End Page v]