London Aesthetics Forum (Institute of Philosophy)

Wednesday 15th May 2013 16.00 – 18.00 | Senate House, Senate Room Malet Street London, WC1E 7HU
Tzachi Zamir (HUJI)  The Inner Paradise: Philosophy-Poetry Warfare In Milton’s Paradise Lost

Recent attempts within Anglo-American aesthetics to delineate an intellectually fruitful relationship between philosophy and literature are usually proposed as compensatory epistemologies: literature overcomes limitations built into the traditional modes whereby philosophers construe knowledge- claims. But what if a major work of literature—as is the case in John Milton’s Paradise Lost—explicitly rejects philosophy’s objectives, holding that philosophy is implicated in the pursuit of a corrupt and unworthy form of knowing? From such a stance, philosophy’s shortcoming is — ironically — philosophical: if one genuinely seeks understanding, philosophy would send one down the wrong track. Poetry of such kind does not invite philosophers of literature to somehow harmonize the philosophy-literature divide. Instead, one is required to sharpen the philosophy-poetry disjunction, clarifying the stakes involved in keeping apart these distinct attitudes to acquiring knowledge, to leading a meaningful existence, and to the non-obvious relationships between these objectives..

The talk will be free and open to all. For more information please visit our website
The London Aesthetics Forum (Institute of Philosophy) is generously supported by the British Society of Aesthetics