Sunday, July 01, 2012

Is Philosophy Literature?

That was the question recently posed in the New York Times.

From the story...

Is philosophy literature? Do people read philosophy for pleasure? Of course it is, and of course they do.

People savor the aphorisms of Nietzsche, the essays of Schopenhauer, the philosophical novels of Sartre. They read the dialogues of Plato (and they would doubtless read the dialogues of Aristotle too, had Western civilization not been so careless as to mislay them). Some even claim to enjoy the more daunting treatises in the philosophical canon. “When I have a leisure moment, you will generally find me curled up with Spinoza’s latest,” Bertie Wooster swankily announces in one of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves” novels.

Now let me narrow my query: Does anybody read analytic philosophy for pleasure? Is this kind of philosophy literature? Here you might say, “Certainly not!” Or you might say, “What the heck is analytic philosophy?”

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