- Introduction:Not "Of," "As," or "And," but "In"
The philosophy of literature, a topic on which we publish numerous articles, concerns what we at the journal take to be engaging and interestingly intricate issues; these include the ontology of fictional characters and the precise nature of our emotional responses to fiction. Philosophy as literature, although we perhaps publish fewer works of this kind, considers philosophical writing from a literary standpoint; issues here include the varying stylistics of philosophical writing over the ages and the role of figurative or metaphorical language in the writing of philosophy, as well as the settled tropes those practices have collectively engendered. Philosophy and literature—perhaps our most frequently published category—is more encompassing, including philosophical interpretations of literature and the ways in which literary texts can be seen in all their richness and depth by viewing them through philosophical lenses.
But philosophy in literature is distinct: it is an approach that seeks to uncover and articulate the ways in which philosophical work itself is conducted inside the frames of fiction—that is, the ways in which the conceptual work that is philosophy is undertaken by different means. This type of investigation far transcends the mere use of literary texts as illustrations of separate and prior philosophical theses or doctrines. Rather, it reads for philosophical content that is, in a more subtle way, internal to the text.
The articles collected here, throughout all their range and scope, offer readings of this distinctive kind. Taken individually, they bring to light literary-philosophical work as performed by their varying authors. Taken together, they show one way in which philosophy can reach beyond its conventional, disciplinary bounds. [End Page v]