Authored by: Peter Lamarque

The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782869
eBook ISBN: 9780203813034
Adobe ISBN: 9781136697142


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In spite of being one of the oldest literary forms, and arguably the most universal, poetry has not attracted much direct attention from philosophers, in particular not from those working in analytical aesthetics in the past sixty or so years. It is not that contemporary philosophical aestheticians have neglected literature at large but their attention in that regard has mostly been to prose fiction and the problems it gives rise to concerning reference, truth and meaning. There are notable exceptions, of course, both ancient and modern. Aristotle's treatise on Poetics is a systematic philosophical exploration of poetry, so important in fact that it has yet to be superseded as such, while in modern times one of the founders of analytical aesthetics, Monroe C. Beardsley, devoted a sizeable proportion of his 1958 magnum opus Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism to poetry. But, aside from these striking exceptions, the relative neglect cannot be disguised.

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