Abstract

Abstract:

Too much ink has been spilled detecting a multitude of ingeniously hidden, and therefore questionable, philosophical influences in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. To increase the signal-to-noise ratio, I study the novel in connection with the philosopher it mentions most frequently, David Hume. I justify his presence on literary grounds in two ways. First, the oft-repeated Hume anecdote clarifies Mr. Ramsay's character and Woolf's character-building technique. Second, Hume's atheism, skepticism, and empirical psychology resonate with those same themes in the novel. Ultimately, his presence validates the tendency, albeit not all the details, of reading the book as a philosophical novel.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 376-393
Launched on MUSE
2018-11-15
Open Access
No
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